Understanding Vestibular Disorders
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is a specialized exercise-based program that seeks to alleviate the effects of inner ear deficits by promoting compensation within the central nervous system. This therapeutic approach is useful for a range of vestibular issues like Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), balance disorders, inner ear disorders, post-concussion syndrome, Meniere’s Disease, and Acoustic Neuromas. The central premise of VRT revolves around retraining the brain to effectively process and coordinate signals from the vestibular system with visual and proprioceptive information.
What To Expect From Vestibular Therapy?
In vestibular therapy, patients are first evaluated by qualified physical or occupational therapists. The evaluation process begins with a comprehensive review of the patient’s medical history. Therapists also observe and measure various parameters like posture, balance, gait, and compensatory strategies. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, eye-head coordination tests could also be incorporated into the evaluation. These tests determine how efficiently a person’s eyes can track moving objects with or without head movement.
The Evaluation Procedure
Further into the evaluation, therapists may also use specific assessments such as questionnaires to gauge the frequency and severity of the patient’s symptoms and the associated lifestyle changes. This comprehensive approach provides a clear understanding of the patient’s condition and is critical to formulating an effective treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs.
Following the assessment, therapists develop a personalized treatment plan for the patient. The plan includes targeted head, body, and eye exercises that can be carried out both during therapy sessions and at home. These exercises are specifically designed to help manage and alleviate the patient’s symptoms, thus improving their overall quality of life.
Goals of Vestibular Therapy
The overarching goal of vestibular therapy is to desensitize the patient’s balance system to movements that provoke symptoms, while simultaneously promoting increased activity and exercise at home. The latter is especially beneficial in strengthening muscles and further aids in improving balance and coordination. Over time, this dedicated therapy can greatly enhance a patient’s day-to-day functionality and lifestyle.
Find A SportsMed
Vestibular Therapy at SportsMed
SportsMed offers Vestibular Therapy at the following locations:
Explore our other services that complement Vestibular Therapy.