Vestibular Physical Therapists
Vertigo can be a game-changer, as you can’t do anything if you’re in the throes of dizziness. But you don’t need to suffer and you don’t need expensive treatments from your doctor.
Your local physical therapy specialist has a treatment program to cure or at least control your vertigo, depending on how severe it is. Contact TRI Physical Therapy to schedule your first session to get back to the life you want.
Vestibular therapy is a physical therapy exercise-based rehabilitation plan with the purpose of improving balance and limiting the problems that happen because of dizziness. Dizziness has a variety of causes, including:
- Excess fluid trapped in your head from a cold
- An inner ear disorder
- A medicinal side effect
- A neck dysfunction
- Something potentially life-threatening, like a medical condition affecting your brain or heart
Usually, the onset of dizziness or vertigo disappears after a few weeks, at the most. If your dizziness symptoms remain past this point, you need to be examined. Get to TRI Physical Therapy for a diagnosis and treatment. You may require vestibular rehabilitation therapy, also known as vestibular training.
Causes of Dizziness and Vertigo
You may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation therapy if you’ve been diagnosed with a condition such as vertigo.
But the causes of vertigo aren’t always well-defined. Some of the more common causes include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). The most common cause of vertigo, this condition happens because of debris that’s collected inside a part of your inner ear, throwing off your balance. It’s aggravated by rapid head movements.
- An infection. An inner ear infection can disrupt your balance. A sinus infection can travel to your ear and throw off your balance.
- Meniere’s syndrome. This is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause issues of vertigo and hearing loss. Normally, the syndrome only affects one ear. Symptoms of this disease include:
- Feeling like your ear is full or stopped up, a condition called aural fullness
- Hearing a ringing sound in your ear, which is known as tinnitus
- Severe vertigo, which causes nausea, sweating and vomiting
- Headaches and loss of balance
Vestibular Treatment and Rehabilitation Plan
Before your treatment can begin, your top physical therapist assesses the level of your dizziness. The kind of treatment you receive depends on how severe your symptoms are. Some of the exercises your physical therapist at our PT clinic may help you perform during your treatment include:
- Balance retraining. These exercises are geared toward helping you overcome dizziness symptoms. It may take weeks to see results from these exercises.
- Neck mobility and stretching exercises. Easy to do, these neck and shoulder exercises give you a greater ability to control your head movements, which may ease your dizziness symptoms.
- Canalith repositioning procedures (CRPs). These exercises follow a sequence of head and upper body movements designed to treat BPPV. The goal of these treatments is to force the debris in your ear out of your inner ear canal. The most common CRP procedures include the Epley maneuver, the Semont maneuver, the Foster maneuver (also called the half somersault maneuver) and the Brandt-Daroff exercise.
All these exercises help to control your vertigo symptoms. Most need to be done multiple times a day. Your physical therapist can teach you to do the recommended exercises at home on your own. If an exercise doesn’t work to relieve your symptoms, contact your physical therapist. You may be given a different exercise, or you may just have to wait for your symptoms to subside on their own, which usually happens within two weeks.
Recovery and Post-Care
Vestibular therapy recovery may take just one session or you may need several, depending on the severity of your symptoms and the recommendations of your physical therapist. After your treatments, your risk of falling is greatly reduced. Your vertigo symptoms are abated.
Vestibular physical therapy results in a decrease in your dizzy symptoms too. You may also notice a return to previous levels of movement and functioning after completing the therapy. You have to continue these exercises for several weeks even after your symptoms go away to make sure you’re fully recovered.
To prevent a return of your vertigo symptoms, follow some common sense tips, such as:
- Keep your home clutter-free, especially the hallways and corridors where you walk frequently.
- Use extra pillows to keep your head slightly elevated.
- Don’t sleep on your side, as it can cause the BPPV debris to gather in your inner ear canal.
- Use caution while driving, biking or walking, in case you get another attack of vertigo.
- As much as possible, stay away from edges and heights, as the sensation can bring about a return of your symptoms.