30 Oct

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy?

Aiko Araki, Physical Therapist - Vida Integrated Health, Seattle

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

As many as 35% of adults aged 40 and older in the United States have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. Eighty percent of persons over the age of 65 have experienced dizziness. Overall, vertigo from a vestibular problem account for one-third of dizziness and vertigo symptoms reported to a healthcare professional.

The vestibular system is made up of three parts: the position sense in the ankle/joints, your vision – to keep the world stable, and the inner ear – which tells you where your head is in space. Together, this information is processed in the brain to keep you upright and moving in the world. When a person suffers from a dysfunction of these systems, it can significantly alter your quality of life and your ability to participate in daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or just moving in your home.

On the first visit, an in-depth interview about the current symptoms you are experiencing will be discussed. Some symptoms you may experience would be spontaneous dizziness or dizziness that worsens with head movements or reading, vertigo or like the world is spinning, ringing in the ears, visual changes, unsteadiness on your feet that may worsen in the dark or on unstable surfaces like grass or gravel, a general feeling of imbalance or if you have had frequent falls.

What does a vestibular evaluation typically include? 

  • Cervical spine assessment
  • Ocular motor testing
  • Gaze stability assessment
  • Positional testing
  • Balance testing
  • Gait analysis

How can Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy help? 

  • Canalith repositioning
  • Adaptation/habituation/substitution exercises
  • Balance training
  • Gait training
  • Fall prevention
  • Self-management
  • Individualized home exercise plan
  • Patient and family education

A variety of balance related disorders can be treated with Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy including vestibular neuritis, unilateral or bilateral vestibulopathy, imbalance, post-concussion syndrome, Meniere’s disease, and anyone at risk for falls.  BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is an easily treatable condition involving a series of guided movements and body positions to resolve the sensation of dizziness or spinning.

Aiko Araki, DPT
Physical Therapist
Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist

Email: aaraki@thinkvida.com

Vida Integrated Health
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

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