Quiet Forest

VESTIBULAR REHABILITATION

Do any of these symptoms look familiar?

 

  • Vertigo - sensation of room spinning- especially with changes in position

  • Dizziness/unsteadiness/imbalance

  • Blurred vision with head movement

  • Difficulty with balance at night or with dim light

Headache

These are all symptoms of a vestibulopathy, the most common of which is BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.   BPPV can cause severe vertigo and even nausea and vomiting with changes in position such as rolling in bed, or rinsing hair in the shower.  But it is highly treatable on the first visit, when assessed correctly!   Other vestibular dysfunctions, or vestibulopathies, generally involve inflammation of the vestibular system.  Examples are labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis. 

 

Sometimes, patients have had vestibular symptoms for a long time, but have learned to compensate and avoid the motions that cause symptoms.  Avoiding these motions will generally worsen symptoms over time. 

 
Physical Therapy Can Help with Recovery from Vestibular Symptoms

 

Vestibular Physical Therapists can assess which ear is involved, and can test specifically for two reflexes- the vestibular-ocular reflex and the vestibular-spinal reflex. Response to these tests will assist the physical therapist in developing a plan of care. Specific exercises can be given for the targeted area. 

Andrea Lairson.png

Andrea
Lairson

Andrea is certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation and Concussion by The American Institute of Balance.  In addition to her work in concussion and vestibular training, Andrea is an experienced orthopedic PT and Athletic Trainer of 23 years, working with a wide variety of bone and joint related issues.

Our Specialist in
Vestibular Rehabilitation

Andrea is certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation and Concussion by The American Institute of Balance.  In addition to her work in concussion and vestibular training, Andrea is an experienced orthopedic PT and Athletic Trainer of 23 years, working with a wide variety of bone and joint related issues.

Learn more about Andrea >

What to Expect When Coming to Connect PT for Vestibular Rehabilitation:
 
  • Comprehensive evaluation

  • Home Exercise Program including vestibular ocular exercises

  • Return to Work/Activity Preparation

  • Guidance and support throughout your recovery

First 50-minute evaluation: 
 
  • Detailed history, onset of symptoms, symptom of occurrence and severity, medical history

  • Neck range of motion, strength and muscle trigger point activity 

  • Vestibular assessment- visual testing such as eye tracking, focus with head movements

  • Postural stability/balance testing- to evaluate the vestibular/postural muscle link

  • Depending upon evaluation, treatment may begin on the first visit

  • Develop a plan of care and outline of treatment recommendations

Follow up visits include:
 
  • Manual therapy (if indicated)

  • Canalith Repositioning Treatments if BPPV (i.e. Epley or Semont Maneuver) 

  • Vestibular rehab to resolve blurred vision with head movement

  • Postural stability and balance exercise

  • Exercises to strengthen the neck and postural muscles, postural awareness

  • Guidance regarding Activities of Daily Living

 

Final Visit:
Insure independence in symptom management techniques, home exercise plan
 
  • Home exercise plan to include a walking program 

  • Balance training

  • Transition to long term home exercise plan for balance such as positional yoga, T’ai Chi

  • In general, patients are seen 1x/week in clinic and do home exercise program daily for 6-8 weeks.