Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercise-based treatment path to promote central nervous system compensation for inner ear dysfunctions. Vestibular Rehab can help with different vestibular problems such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (one of the most common causes of vertigo) and the unilateral or bilateral vestibular hypofuction (reduced inner ear function on one or both sides) associated with Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuritis.   Even those with long-term unresolved inner ear disorders who have undergone a period of medical management with little or no success may benefit from vestibular rehab.

When the vestibular organs are damaged by disease or injury, the brain can no longer rely on them for accurate information about equilibrium and motion, often resulting in dizziness, vertigo, balance problems, and other symptoms. Clients with concussions and other neurological conditions can also experience dizziness and nausea due to a “mismatch” in the sensory information the brain is receiving (vestibular, sensory and visual).

The goal of Vestibular Rehabilitation treatment paths is to retrain the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system in coordination with vision, muscles and joints. It often involves techniques to desensitize the system to movements which provoke symptoms. Ultimately, treatment is focused on decreasing symptoms of dizziness and nausea and improving balance and function.

A physiotherapy assessment is required to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for treatment. The evaluation will include medical history, observing and measuring posture, balance and gait. It may also include eye-head coordination tests that measure how well a person’s eyes track a moving object with or without head movement. Using the results of the evaluation, treatment recommendations will be provided which may include an individualized exercise program. An individualized exercise program may include eye and head movements, balance exercises, and/or motion sensitivity training.

Depending on the findings of the assessment, clients with findings consistent with BPPV (positional vertigo) may be appropriate for a canalith repositioning procedure, which is often referred to as the Epley maneuver.

Please contact Pathways Therapy for additional information regarding Vestibular Rehabilitation.