Vestibular/Balance Rehabilitation

Vertigo

What are the Symptoms of Vestibular Disorders?

  • Vertigo and dizziness
  • Imbalance, spatial disorientation (or need to hold on to an object when walking)
  • Visual disturbances
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Hearing Changes
  • Cognitive and/or psychological changes
  • Frequent falls
  • The sensation of “foggy” head or wooziness

What is Vestibular/ Balance Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation and balance rehabilitation are exercise-based management plans, designed to help improve balance and reduce problems related to dizziness, caused by conditions of the inner ear, brain balance centres and information from the joints and muscles. Exercise programmes are individually designed by a Physiotherapist following thorough assessment

Anyone who has been diagnosed with, or experiences dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), cervicogenic dizziness (related to neck movement), Meniere’s Disease or suffers from regular headaches or migraines may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Stroke, Cerebellar ataxia and acquired brain injury can also lead to balance disorders that are improved or stabilised through bespoke exercise.

Balance disorders and dizziness are present in all age groups, but prevalence increases with age. Left untreated they result in worsening unsteadiness, loss of confidence and anxiety, inactivity, loss of independence, an increased risk of falls and falls related injuries.

Many people experience problems with their balance or dizziness at some point in their lives. The inner ear, much to the surprise of many can be the source of a vestibular disorder.

The inner ear is part of the vestibular system, along with the eyes and the somatosensory (muscular) system. The vestibular system when fully functioning enables individuals to stabilise their eyes and body during head movements due to the signals received the brain.

If the vestibular system becomes affected the brain will receive altered signals as an exaggeration of motion that can result in what we experience as dizziness or vertigo.

What Causes Vestibular Disorders?

Many people experience problems with their balance or dizziness at some point in their lives. The inner ear, much to the surprise of many can be the source of a vestibular disorder.

The inner ear is part of the vestibular system, along with the eyes and the somatosensory (muscular) system. The vestibular system when fully functioning enables individuals to stabilise their eyes and body during head movements due to the signals received the brain.

If the vestibular system becomes affected the brain will receive altered signals as an exaggeration of motion that can result in what we experience as dizziness or vertigo.

What to expect from Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation

One of our specialised Physiotherapist will perform a thorough assessment through administering a series of clinical tests and questions. The results of which will be explained and any questions or concerns addressed at the time.

If you have dizziness due to BPPV you will be treated with specialist head and neck manipulations that reposition fragments of debris within the inner ear and in most cases, recovery is very quick.

Other causes of dizziness often respond to exercises therapy.

A personalised exercise-based management plan will be tailored to the individual and this will include a home exercise programme along with the recommended frequency of treatment sessions.

An exercise-based management plan may include:

  • Eye and head movement exercises.
  • Exercises to improve standing balance and walking.
  • Education and advice on activities of daily living to improve confidence and function.
  • Advice on falls reduction and prevention.
  • Use of the Lite Gait
  • Use of the AlterG

How can Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation help?

The aim of treatment is to minimise the symptoms of dizziness, improve balance, strengthen muscles, improve reflex reactions and to help prevent falls by optimising the function of the vestibular, somatosensory and visual systems all of which contribute to balance.

The exercises are designed to retrain the brain to identify and process signals from all the balance systems and therefore desensitising the patient to movements that provoke symptoms and improve responses to a loss of balance.

The overall goal of vestibular/ balance rehabilitation is to restore normal every day function.

Expected outcomes after vestibular/ balance rehabilitation are as follows:

  • Decrease in dizzy episodes
  • Reduction of falls
  • Improved balance and motion control
  • Improve ability to stabilise stare or gaze
  • Reduce headaches or migraines
  • Slowing down the progression of the condition

For more information, please contact our Client Services Team on 0800 043 0327 or contact us via our Contact Us page.