Vestibular Rehabilitation

vestibular rehabThe word “vertigo” may bring to mind the old Alfred Hitchcock movie, but it is actually a common medical diagnosis. Vertigo or dizziness is the second most common complaint to physicians. Fifty percent of all adults will experience dizziness at some point in their lives. Sixty percent of head-injured patients suffer from dizziness or vertigo. Eighty percent of those with acquired hearing loss also complain of dizziness. Many times the cause is a vestibular, or inner ear, disorder.

The vestibular system is the part of the inner ear that controls balance, postural control, and body orientation. If a person has a vestibular disorder, symptoms can include:

  • Vertigo (True vertigo is defined as a perception of one’s environment spinning or whirling)
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Motion sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Imbalance
  • Falls

An inner ear infection or weakness, or a condition known as benign positional vertigo may cause the symptoms listed above.

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based approach aimed at eliminating or minimizing balance deficits and dizziness associated with vestibular disorders. This type of rehab is provided by a specially trained physical therapist. The therapist assists a person in compensating for a loss in the vestibular system. The exercise program may include balance exercises, eye exercises, a technique called the Epley maneuver, and repetitive exercises to reduce vertigo symptoms. The rehab program is individually designed to meet each person’s needs. Treatment is typically short-term, with goals achieved within a few sessions.

Covenant Therapy Centers accept most insurance and managed care plans. For questions or information about the clinic nearest you call (865) 541-4500.