ARE YOU DIZZY?
Does looking up or side to side make you dizzy? Do quick movements of your head increase your problem? Do you have difficulty walking or standing without losing your balance?
The goal of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is to retrain the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system in coordination with information from vision and proprioception. This often involves desensitizing the balance system to movements that provoke symptoms.
What happens during vestibular therapy?
A qualified therapist will first perform a thorough evaluation. This includes observing posture, balance, movement, and compensatory strategies.
Using the result of this evaluation, the therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan that will include exercises to be performed both in the therapy department and at home and that combine specific head and body movements with eye exercises. Many times, treatment may also include increasing activities and exercise in order to strengthen muscles and increase tolerance for certain stimuli.
Some of the exercise and activities may at first cause an increase in symptoms, as the body and brain attempt to sort out the new pattern of movements. But with time and consistent work, the coordination signals from the eyes, proprioception, and vestibular system will occur.
How does therapy help?
In most cases, balance improves if the exercises are correctly and faithfully performed. Muscle tension, headaches, and fatigue will diminish, and symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, and nausea will decrease or disappear. Many times, vestibular VRT is so successful that no other treatment is required.