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How Vestibular Rehabilitation Can Help Stop the World from Spinning - A Guide for Better Balance




Vestibular rehabilitation can help resolve symptoms of dizziness and poor balance
Vestibular rehabilitation

What is vestibular rehabilitation?


Vestibular rehabilitation helps individuals manage and recover from dizziness and balance issues. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy takes time, but it can improve your quality of life.


Who needs vestibular therapy?


Dizziness (fluctuating or consistent) may be a symptom of a poorly functioning vestibular system that can impact your sense of balance, coordination and visual tasks. Dizziness and balance issues may increase neck muscle stiffness and tone which can further exacerbate your dizziness. Vestibular therapy may help people with these following conditions:


- Vertigo

- Meniere’s disease

- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

- Labyrinthitis

- Vestibular neuritis

- Migraine headache

- Stroke

- Falling risk or history of repeated falls


How does vestibular therapy work?


First, we need to determine what neck positions or eye movements are related to/ cause your dizziness. A comprehensive assessment of ocular, vestibular and cervical function will help us determine the best treatment course to gradually improve your tolerance to aggravating movements. Typically, treatment involves ocular exercises, cervical proprioception re-training, postural calibration and manual maneuvers.


Balance:

Your ability to keep balanced is a result from the inputs of the sensory system, processing in your brain, and the outputs through your reflexive and voluntary motor system. Typically, we see faults in the sensory system. Your sensory system includes:

- Visual input: images from eyes are sent to the brain to show where your body is in relation to other objects

- Proprioceptive input: joint information (foot, ankle, knee, hip, spine), muscle fibers (specifically in the neck region), skin

- Vestibular input: information from the vestibular system (semi-circular canals, otoliths) through the vestibulocochlear nerve in response to head movements


If these three systems are in harmony, they create a beautiful symphony of your environment and reality. However, if one of these systems goes out of tune, the dissonance causes the brain to struggle as it perceives what is real.


Dizziness:

Dizziness is a subjective feeling of discrepancy between sensory inputs to the brain in regards of your spatial orientation. Spatial orientation notifies your brain about the position of your body in respect to your surroundings. If the information is conflicting, you may feel unsteady, lightheaded, like you’ve lost your sense of balance.


These vestibular-related symptoms can occur at any point in your life but commonly after trauma to the neck, head injury, cardiovascular incident, or have a gradual onset as well. Unfortunately, most people suffer silently with dizziness symptoms since it’s not an easily identified physical injury. Symptoms of dizziness and feelings of imbalance are debilitating challenges, but research demonstrates that our central nervous system (brain) is resilient and can adapt and learn to make new connections to manage and lessen the symptoms.


I’m looking forwards to create a care plan together and help you experience the benefits of vestibular therapy.

If you are interested in addressing vestibular issues that you may be experiencing, you can schedule your appointment with Jasmine today!

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