What is vestibular rehabilitation?
Vestibular rehabilitation involves the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of people with dizziness and balance disorders. It is a well evidenced and supported intervention for people suffering with conditions that affect the inner ear, that is safe and effective.
What is a vestibular disorder?
The vestibular system includes the apparatus located in the inner ear that are responsible for maintaining balance, spatial orientation and the coordination of this with movement. Vestibular disorders arise when a condition or injury affects part of this system, which results in confused signals being sent to the brain. This will cause symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbance, nausea, headaches, motion sensitivity or imbalance.
Some common vestibular conditions that are routinely treated with vestibular rehabilitation include:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Age related dizziness and imbalance
Stroke related dizziness
Vestibular disorders often affect participation in all aspects of life (work, social, leisure and roles within the home), which reduces quality of life and will lead to changes in mood.
What is involved in vestibular rehabilitation?
Vestibular rehabilitation consists of graded exercises of the head, eye and neck as well as balance and strength training. Manual treatment to help re-calibrate your vestibular system may also be appropriate such as the Epley Maneuver. It is an evidence-based treatment aimed at reducing symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbance and imbalance through re-educating and training the vestibular and balance system. Treatment programs are personalised, dependent on assessment findings and advice is given to help manage symptoms with daily activities.
Who provides Vestibular Rehabilitation?
Physiotherapists most often provide vestibular rehabilitation. Based on their training they are ideally suited to guide you in restoring function, balance and strength through exercise. It is important you find a practitioner who is specially trained in this area and is well experienced. You can search for a specialised and qualified practitioner in your area on the Association for Chartered Physiotherapists with a Special Interest in Vestibular Rehabilitation (ACPIVR) website.
The benefits of vestibular rehabilitation can be life changing. A simple assessment could determine if physiotherapy is suitable in treating your vestibular symptoms so please get in touch.