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Vestibular Therapy: What Should You Know About It

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a type of therapy that aims to treat both the underlying and secondary symptoms of vestibular diseases. It helps minimize vertigo and dizziness, instability, imbalances, fall risk, as well as address any secondary impairment caused by the vestibular condition.

Types of Exercises in a Vestibular Rehabilitation Program

Here are a few exercises that are part of our vestibular rehab therapy program, recommended for patients suffering vestibular disorders:

  • Habituation Exercises

The purpose of habituation exercise is to diminish dizziness by repeatedly exposing patients to certain motions or visual stimuli that cause dizziness. These activities are intended to gently or moderately aggravate the patient’s symptoms, so the patient will slowly adjust to the triggers. With excellent compliance and perseverance, the dizziness severity might decrease over time as the brain learns to disregard the abnormal signal.

  • Balance Training Exercises

Balance training exercises help increase stability so you can complete daily tasks such as self-care, work, and recreation with ease. Exercises are tailored to each patient's underlying balance issues. Furthermore, they help to eliminate environmental obstacles and the danger of falling.

  • Gaze Stabilization

Gaze stabilization exercises are designed to enhance eye movement control so that vision remains clear during head movement. These activities are excellent for patients who have difficulty seeing properly because their visuals appear to bounce or hop around, such as when reading or attempting to identify things in the surroundings, particularly when moving around.

  • Cawthorne-Cooksey Exercises

The Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises aim to relax the neck and shoulder muscles, train the eyes to move independently of the head, practice good balance in everyday situations, practice dizziness-causing head movements (to aid in the development of vestibular compensation), improve general coordination, and encourage natural unprompted movement.

  • Canalith Repositioning Procedures (CRPs)

Canalith repositioning procedures (CRPs) are used to treat people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). BPPV is hypothesized to be produced by crystals (also known as otoconia) being dislodged from their regular location inside the inner ear and traveling into another part of the ear responsible for rotation sensing (the semicircular canals). When the crystals in this area of the ear shift around, it creates dizziness. Canalith repositioning treatments entail a series of specialized head and upper body movements that may be able to rearrange the crystals in the ear.

What Should You Expect from Vestibular Disorder Treatment?

You can expect the following after successful vestibular treatment sessions:

  • Decreased falling risk

  • Improved balance

  • Improved gaze stabilization

  • Stronger core strength

  • Decreased dizziness symptoms

  • Return to previous movement/function level

  • Improved range of motion for your neck

Radiant Physiotherapy has physiotherapists who are specialized in treating vestibular disorders. Contact us immediately for a free consultation and treatment plan if you are suffering from imbalances, dizziness, or vertigo.