Vestibular rehabilitation treats symptoms associated with vertigo, imbalance and dizziness due to vestibular dysfunction. Vertigo is usually described as a spinning sensation whereas dizziness usually is described as “lightheadedness”. The causes of vertigo can vary; therefore, treatments can take many forms.
Kristi Shashack, PT, DPT working through vestibular exercises with a patient.
Some conditions that can produce vertigo are:
- Inner ear infections or disorders
- Tumors, such as acoustic neuroma
- Surgery that removes or injures the inner ear or its nerves
- Head injury
- A hole in the inner ear
The type of exercise that your therapist designs for you will depend on your unique problems and might include:
- Exercise to improve your balance
- Exercises to help the brain “correct” differences between your inner ears
- Exercises to improve your ability to focus your eyes and vision.
These treatments may include head and neck movements, or other exercises to help eliminate your symptoms.
If you have dizziness and balance issues after your vertigo has stopped, your physical therapist can develop a treatment plan that targets those problems. Your physical therapist will teach you strategies to help you cope with your symptoms.
During your first visit with the physical therapist, be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible and inform your PT what makes your symptoms worse.