Balance & Vestibular Disorders

Dizziness is a common symptom and can occur for several reasons at all ages. Some describe their symptoms as being more of a “light headedness” while others simply feel unstable or even experience true room spinning vertigo.   If untreated dizziness leads to an increase in the incidence of falls and related injuries. Depending on the reason for your altered equilibrium your symptoms can often be resolved in as little as a single therapy session.

Common Causes of Vertigo / Dizziness

  • Upper respiratory / sinus infection
  • Head trauma
  • Spontaneously developing
  • Side effect of medication (ototoxic medications / antibiotics)
  • Chemical exposure
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Neoplasm

Conditions Commonly Treated Effectively with Physical Therapy

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – Displaced crystals within the inner ear
  • Peripheral Vestibular Hypofunction
  • Labrynthitis
  • Vestibular Neuronitis
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Cervicogenic Vertigo
  • Motion Sensitivity
  • Decompensation
  • Gaze Instability / Nystagmus

Vestibular Treatment Plans

Your therapist and you will discuss your symptoms and perform a comprehensive physical examination of several sensory systems including the inner ear. Based on the findings of your exam your therapist will recommend a treatment plan to reduce and resolve your complaints as efficiently as possible. The treatments options differ depending on the cause of your dizziness.

Crystal Reduction Therapy

One of the most easily corrected conditions treated in PT is Positional Vertigo (BPPV). When crystals of the inner ear break free the result is a false sense of movement described as vertigo where the environment appears to move before your eyes. Epley’s maneuver, Semont’s maneuver, and Log Roll maneuver are all examples of exercises that your therapist may use to treat year BPPV depending on where the displace crystal are within the ear. Rapid improvement is common in these cases.

Adaptation Exercises

This is one of two common schools of thought in alleviating symptoms due to damage or loss of function in the inner ear. Its’ foundation is in the ability of the vestibular system to change its level of activity in response to head movements at different speeds. This allows us to keep our eyes fixed when focusing upon either stable or moving objects thereby maintaining equilibrium.

Habituation Exercises

This is another category of treatment exercises useful in reducing dizziness / vertigo related to inner ear dysfunction. It is a common intervention in the treatment of motion sensitivity. It refers to a concept that a person will begin to experience progressively less intense responses to faster movement the more often they are exposed to graded amounts of movement.

Balance Training Exercises

Many people experience instability without true dizziness or vertigo. This is a therapy that works to ensure that there is adequate integration in the feedback we get from our feet (pressure), joints (proprioception), eyes and ears. Additionally, some patients are unstable simply because their legs are too weak. These treatments are customized to work on the specific area(s) of weakness or otherwise teach new strategies to better rely on less impaired senses.

Treating the Northtowns of Western New York

No matter if you live just north of us in Niagara Falls, Wheatfield, Grand Island or North Tonawanda or if you call Amherst, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Kenmore, or Buffalo home. We are conveniently located in Tonawanda and look forward to finding out how we can help with all of types of orthopedic injuries as well as vertigo and dizziness.

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