Vestibular physiotherapy treatment for balance, dizziness and vertigo issues

Thu,Jan 22, 2015 at 05:36PM by

vestibular physiotherapy treatment for vertigo and balance issues

Inner ear and vestibular system (coloured)

Is it me, or is the room moving?

Chances are, it could be you. There are many causes for dizziness and balance complaints, and one of these you may be experiencing is some form of vestibular disorder. One study reports that as many as 35% of adults over 40 years have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. (1)

What is a vestibular disorder?

Your vestibular system is comprised of parts of the inner ear that send signals to the brain to be processed for controlling balance and eye movements. Disease or injury can cause damage to these areas that results in disruptions to the processing. This could give the sensation of nausea, dizziness, light-headedness and vertigo (spinning sensation). The damage can also be caused or heightened by specific genetic, ageing and environmental as well as unknown causes.

Some symptoms of vestibular disorders:

//     Vertigo and dizziness
//     Imbalance and spatial disorientation
//     Vision disturbances
//     Hearing changes
//     Cognitive and/or psychological changes
//     Other symptoms can be slurred speech, pressure/wind sensitivity

It is important to note that a wide array of conditions unrelated to the vestibular system may potentially have the same symptoms.

What can be done?

Your physiotherapist, along with occupational therapist and dietitian are able to formulate treatment depending on the symptoms and severity of the disorder.

//     Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) to retrain the brain to process signals
//     Epley Canalith Repositioning Procedure which repositions inner ear crystals that are disrupting signals
//     Home based exercises for balance retaining such as tai chi
//     Dietary adjustments to create fluid balance within the body
//     Medication and surgical interventions are sometimes required

If you feel you may be suffering from a vestibular disorder then the physiotherapists at Body Organics will be happy to discuss treatment options, or refer to specialist treatment as required.

For more information visit the Vestibular Disorders Association web site.

To find out more about vestibular physiotherapy & our other physiotherapy services at Body Organics in Brisbane visit our physiotherapy page.

Nadia Labort practises physiotherapy with Body Organics in Brisbane. She completed her Bachelor of Science (Exercise Science) at the University of Wollongong, which provided a solid foundation for her subsequent Masters of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney.

(1) Agrawal Y et al. Disorders of Balance and vestibular function in US adults. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169 (10): 938-944.

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