Our Physical Therapy Treatments – Vestibular Therapy

Vestibular Therapy 

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is a specialized form of physical therapy that focuses on treating disorders of the vestibular system. The vestibular system is responsible for maintaining balance, spatial orientation, and coordinating eye movements. We use 3 different input systems that make up our vestibular system, somatosensory input (what our feet feel on the ground), ocular input (what our eyes are seeing, or not seeing) and inner ear input (fluid and crystals in the inner ear canal). When these systems are disrupted, individuals may experience symptoms such as dizziness, imbalance, headaches, nausea and difficulty with coordination.

The Vestibular Therapy Process

A vestibular therapy program typically begins with a comprehensive evaluation. The evaluation may include assessments of balance, eye movements, posture, and coordination. Based on the findings, a personalized treatment plan is developed to address the specific vestibular dysfunction.

Some common components of vestibular therapy include:

  1. Canalith Repositioning Procedures: These maneuvers aim to reposition displaced calcium crystals (otoconia) in the inner ear.  Typically, once positioned correctly symptoms of vertigo will abolish.
  2. Gaze Stabilization Exercises: These exercises involve training the Vestibular Ocular Reflex (VOR) which is your ability to focus your eyes on a stationary target while moving your head or your body is in motion. These exercises specifically test our 3 input systems to strengthen the vestibular system as a whole. Improving your VOR is crucial to enhance visual stability and reduce dizziness. Just like a muscle needs to be trained, our vestibular system needs to be strengthened and trained as well in order to function properly. 
  3. Balance Training: Various exercises are used to improve balance, stability, and gait, helping patients regain confidence and reduce their risk of falls. This can also aide in improvement in the different communication systems our vestibular system uses with the brain. 
  4. Habituation Exercises: These exercises expose patients to controlled movements or situations that provoke dizziness, gradually reducing the intensity and frequency of symptoms. 
  5. Coordination and Strengthening Exercises: Specific exercises may be included to enhance coordination, muscle strength, and overall physical fitness.

Benefits of Vestibular Therapy

Vestibular therapy can have a significant positive impact on a patient’s daily life. Some potential benefits of undergoing vestibular therapy include:

  1. Elimination of dizziness and vertigo episodes.
  2. Improved balance and stability.
  3. Increased independence in daily activities.
  4. Enhanced confidence and reduced fear of falling.
  5. Better visual tracking and coordination.
  6. Improved overall quality of life and well-being.

Feel Better Today!

Vestibular therapy can help you regain your balance, reduce dizziness, and improve your overall quality of life. If you are experiencing any vestibular-related issues, consult with one of our qualified physical therapists to determine if vestibular therapy is right for you.  Contact us today!