Your vestibular system is a postural control system located in your inner ear. This system works with our vision to allow us to sense where our head and body are in relation to our environment. It also allows us to stabilize our gaze and keep images clear when we are moving our head or walking. When someone is having problems with their vestibular system, they may experience symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, loss of balance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and nausea and/or vomiting.
Vertigo is the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is spinning. The most common cause of vertigo is a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Benign means that the condition is not dangerous, paroxysmal means it comes on suddenly, and positional means that the symptoms are triggered by the position of the head.
BPPV occurs when tiny crystals in our inner ear called otoconia become displaced, causing a sudden onset of dizziness with certain head movements. Common provoking movements include turning in bed, bending over, and looking up. The dizzy spells typically last for 15-45 seconds and can be very intense. The good news is that BPPV is very treatable by a vestibular physical therapist.
Beyond BPPV, vestibular rehabilitation can be indicated for those with vestibular deficits due to head injuries, aging, migraines, or ear infections.
Physical limitations that arise from vestibular disorders are different for each individual and will require a highly individualized treatment plan. At Activcore, we are well equipped to give you the time and attention needed to address your specific issues.
Your physical therapist will start by conducting a detailed subjective history of your symptoms and their effects on your daily activities. They will also choose appropriate objective measures that may include:
Following your evaluation, an individualized treatment plan will be created. At Activcore, you will have your own dedicated vestibular physical therapist by your side throughout every session.
If you have BPPV, your physical therapist can perform a repositioning maneuver that involves moving your head and body. This maneuver is designed to return the displaced crystals to the appropriate place in the inner ear. Afterwards, you may be instructed on specific exercises to do a home.
If you have another type of vestibular dysfunction, your physical therapist will customize a vestibular rehabilitation program just for you. This program may include:
Regardless of the type of vestibular dysfunction you have, you and your provider will develop and commit to a plan of care tailored to your individual needs, lifestyle, and goals. Together, we can help you improve your dizziness, reduce your risk of falling, and restore your quality of life.