Balance & Vertigo
Did you know that skilled physical therapy intervention can help with your balance and vertigo problems? Whether your dizziness and balance issues are directly related to vestibular problems or you need muscle strengthening, we are here to help. After just a few visits, our patients notice a dramatic decrease in dizziness and vertigo symptoms.
When it comes to balance there are various factors that can affect you including poor posture, weakness of hip and ankles muscles, and a lack of good hip and ankle range of motion. Other factors in your medical history may also be affecting your balance like a prior stroke, Parkinsons disease, diabetes, and even neurological damage. Our physical therapists are skilled at finding the root cause of your symptoms and coming up with a treatment plan for you.
Every patient is different, but a few examples of potential treatments include:
◊ Strengthening your core, hip and ankle muscles
◊ Increasing flexibilty of your hips and ankles
◊ Improving your sense of balance with safe balance exercises
◊ Increasing your independence to move safely in your home and the community
◊ Reducing your risk of future falls
Vestibular Physical Therapy
Another major cause of dizziness and balance problems could be due to an issue with your vestibular system. Put simply your vestibular system is the link between the inner ear and the brain, which allows you to keep your balance. Conditions that would benefit from vestibular physical therapy include, but are not limited to:
◊ Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
◊ Bilateral and unilateral vestibular hypofunction
◊ Cervicogenic dizziness
◊ Vestibular neuritis
◊ Acoustic neuroma
◊ Visually provoked dizziness
Again, every patient is different, but potential physical therapy treatments include habituation, gaze stabilization, balance training, and canalith repositioning procedures (also known as the Epley maneuver).
Habituation- reduces dizziness through repeated exposure to dizzying movements and stimuli that allows the brain to compensate for abnormal signaling from the inner ear.
Gaze stabilization- enhances control of eye movements to improve vision dysfunction that occurs with head and eye movement. Very helpful with patients who have poor vestibular functioning.
Balance Training- improves steadiness when performing daily activities of living to reduce fall risk and environmental barriers. Includes static and dynamic activities.
Canalith Repositioning Procedures, AKA the "Epley Maneuver"- repositions canaliths in the ear to cure BPPV. When performed correctly, it has a cure rate of 80% and can treat both canalithiasis and cupulolithiasis.