Forty percent of people over the age of 40 experience dizziness or balance problems at some point in their life. There are many causes for dizziness, but a large percentage is caused by an imbalance or loss within the inner ear or vestibular system.

Our physical therapists treat patients with dizziness and/or imbalance resulting from disorders including:

  • Inner ear disorders
  • Labrynthitis and neuronitis
  • BPPV
  • Falls
  • Stroke
  • Early Parkinson’s Disease
  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Post-concussive syndrome
  • Other balance-system disorders

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation is a specific form of physical therapy designed to decrease dizziness and improve balance disorders.

Goals of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

The goals of Vestibular Rehabilitation are to improve balance and focus, decrease falls and the sensation of dizziness.

By decreasing the frequency, intensity, and duration of your vertigo/dizziness your other symptoms such as headache, nausea, and lightheadedness are decreased and your independence in daily life is increased.

Diagnosis

The accurate diagnosis and assessment of an inner ear condition is critical for a successful individualised Vestibular Rehabilitation program. The diagnosis includes the assessment of functional abilities such as walking, eye movements and specific measures of dizziness.

Treatment

Using the result of this evaluation, we develop an individualised treatment plan that will include exercises to be performed both in the therapy and at home and that combine specific head and body movements with eye exercises. The rehabilitation program will be designed to decrease symptoms and restore function.

Conditions that respond well to treatment

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – A problem of the inner ear caused by particles that break off and accumulate behind a membrane in the inner ear canals.

Vertigo – A false sense of movement.

Inflammation in the inner ear – Neuronitis or labyrinthitis

After removal of acoustic neuroma – An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous (benign) growth on the acoustic nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain. Symptoms of an acoustic neuroma may include dizziness, loss of balance, hearing loss and tinnitus.

Motion sickness – Riding on a roller coaster or in boats, cars or even airplanes may occasionally make people dizzy.

Inner ear (vestibular) problems – Abnormalities in the inner ear can cause a sensation of floating or a heavy head — and unsteadiness in the dark.

Balance disorders – Failing vision and nerve damage in the legs (peripheral neuropathy) are common in older adults and may result in difficulty maintaining balance.

Joint and muscle problems – Muscle weakness and osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis that involves wear and tear of the joints, can contribute to loss of balance when it involves weight-bearing joints.

Anxiety disorders – Certain anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and a fear of leaving home or being in large, open spaces (agoraphobia) may cause lightheadedness.

Hyperventilation – Abnormally rapid breathing that often accompanies anxiety disorders may cause a feeling of light-headedness.