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Do you suffer from disabling dizziness or vertigo? Does it cause you to lose your balance, trip or even fall? Vestibular Physiotherapy is a targeted assessment and treatment approach that helps to determine the cause of your dizziness and then use specific techniques and exercises to improve your symptoms and help you get back to feeling normal.

The Vestibular System is found inside the inner ear and it is connected to your Visual System. If you are having issues with your Vestibular System you may experience  vertigo, dizziness, spinning, nausea and vomiting, light headedness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), double-vision, or impaired balance. 

Inside your inner ear you have three canals that tell our body about how we are moving in our environment. They are responsible for keeping us upright and oriented to how fast we are moving and in what direction.

The vestibular system sends very important signals to your brainstem and nerves that control your eye and your balance. ​

Signs + Symptoms

  • A sensation of movement (including spinning), either of yourself or the external environment (Vertigo)

  • Unsteadiness, finding it difficult to walk in a straight line, Staggering gait and loss of coordination (ataxia)

  • Light-headedness or Feeling ‘faint’

  • Motion sensitivity

  • Blurry or bouncy vision (Visual sensitivity)

  • Falls

  • Further symptoms that may accompany dizziness include:

    • Headaches

    • Nausea and/or vomiting

    • Difficulty hearing or Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

    • Unusual eye movements (nystagmus)

    • Finding it difficult to see clearly when moving, for example, reading a sign while walking or driving

What can cause Vestibular symptoms?

Vestibular Disorders are common and can affect people of all ages and all walks of life. They are most often caused by;

  • Head Trauma (car accidents, falls, contact sports)

  • Ear Infections (Neuritis, Labyrinthitis)

  • Aging

  • Certain Prescription Medications

  • Stroke and/or Brain Injury

  • Illness or Disease

  • Inflammation in the inner ear

  • neck joint dysfunction

  • vestibular migraine

  • Acoustic neuroma

  • Meniere's disease

​Disorders of the inner ear account for about half of all cases of persistent (ongoing) dizziness. Disorders include Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and vestibular neuritis. Your doctor will run some tests if you are suffering from vertigo (medical history, physical examination, blood pressure check, MRI scan in extreme cases), but they will likely send you to a Physiotherapist if BPPV is suspected

Inner Ear Vertigo

Vertigo + BPPV Treatment

Treatment will involve being tested using repositioning procedures, which are a special set of maneuvers designed to reposition the inner ear ‘crystals’ causing the vertigo related to BPPV. You will also be given home repositioning exercises to help maintain your treatment effect and advice on self management to prevent recurrence of the condition. In many cases only 1-2 treatments are needed to resolve your symptoms.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Treatment for non-BPPV vestibular conditions uses scientifically tested and clinically valid therapeutic modalities for the habituation and adaption of the vestibular system to persistent dizziness and postural instability. This is often successful at treating incomplete compensation after peripheral vestibular (Unilateral Vestibular Dysfunction or Bilateral Vestibular Dysfunction) or central nervous system injury (concussion or brain injury). 

Balance Retraining

Retraining balance can significantly prevent falls in the elderly who may suffer from multiple sensory and motor impairments including sensory disruption with moving visual information. This approach involves specific exercises and manual therapy techniques designed to improve balance function, decrease dizziness/vertigo symptoms, increase your general activity levels and confidence with independent activities (ie. stair climbing, walking in busy environments) . 

If you suffer from BPPV our specially trained Physio Beth can treat and manage this condition along with many other Vestibular Disorders. 

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