Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program, designed by a specialized physical therapist, to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related problems.
Who benefits from vestibular rehabilitation?
Patients who are typically referred for vestibular rehabilitation therapy are those diagnosed with dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, Meniere’s syndrome, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), neck-related dizziness and migraines. Other candidates are patients who have had a stroke or brain injury or who frequently fall.
How is dizziness defined?
Dizziness is defined as feelings of unsteadiness; wooziness (swimming feeling in head); lightheadedness; feelings of passing out; and sensations of moving, spinning, floating, swaying, tilting, or whirling (sensations known as vertigo).
These sensations can occur when standing still, lying down or when changing positions. The symptoms can last from seconds to minutes to days. For some people the symptoms are constant; others experience only short episodes of symptoms.
What causes dizziness?
Each year over 10 million patients visit a physician due to dizziness. It is the most common complaint of patients over the age of 75, but can occur in patients of any age.
Dizziness is generally not serious, but is often a sign of a mechanical problem. Dizziness can be due to an inner ear disorder, a side effect of medications, a sign of neck dysfunction, or it can be due to a more serious problem such as a brain or a heart problem.
Common symptoms that can be helped with vestibular rehabilitation include:
Dizziness or blurry vision with head movements
Neck tightness, stiffness and/or pain
Imbalance or the need to hold onto objects when walking
Generalized “dizziness, wooziness and foggy head” feelings