What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?
The vestibular system is a collection of structures in your inner ear that provides you with your sense of balance and an awareness of your spatial orientation, meaning a sense of whether you are right-side up or upside-down. Your brain then integrates that information with other sensory information from your body to coordinate smooth and well-timed body movements.
This system can malfunction for various reasons such as: infections, age related changes, trauma and disease. When the system malfunctions, it gives conflicting and confusing information to the brain, which creates symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, headaches, nausea and imbalance.
Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized form of therapy intended to alleviate both the primary and secondary problems caused by vestibular disorders. It is an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gaze instability, and/or imbalance and falls.
What can Novo do for me?
Vestibular rehabilitation is performed by Physiotherapists and Chiropractors with specialized post-graduate training. Novo has the specialized clinicians needed to assess the cause of the symptoms and create the proper treatment plan.
Vestibular rehabilitation is used for patients with:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Vestibular Neuritis
Treatment for Vestibular deficits can include:
- Habituation Exercises: Habituation exercises are used to treat symptoms of dizziness that are produced because of self-motion and/or produced because of visual stimuli. Habituation exercise is indicated for patients who report increased dizziness when they move around, especially when they make quick head movements, or when they change positions like when they bend over or look up to reach above their heads. Also, habituation exercise is appropriate for patients who report increased dizziness in visually stimulating environments, like shopping malls and grocery stores, when watching action movies or T.V., and/or when walking over patterned surfaces or shiny floors.
- Gaze Stabilization: Gaze Stabilization exercises are used to improve control of eye movements so vision can be clear during head movement. These exercises are appropriate for patients who report problems seeing clearly because their visual world appears to bounce or jump around, such as when reading or when trying to identify objects in the environment, especially when moving about.
- Balance Training: Balance Training exercises are used to improve steadiness so that daily activities for self-care, work, and leisure can be performed successfully. Exercises used to improve balance should be designed to address each patient’s specific underlying balance problem. Also, the exercises need to be moderately challenging, but safe enough so patients do not fall while doing them.
- Repositioning (Epley Maneuver): Repositioning exercises are specific to Benign Paroxysmal positional Vertigo (BPPV) and involve a series of head movements that are designed to reposition the inner ear particles that are causing the vertigo.
At Novo, Vestibular Rehabilitation that is performed by a Physiotherapist or Chiropractor is covered by most Health Benefits plan under the category of Physiotherapy or Chiropractic care.