Is your Balance Problem really an Ear Problem?
At Game Shape Physical Therapy, we have experienced vestibular therapy clinicians that help patients recover from inner ear issues due to injury or illness, before they cause a loss of equilibrium, resulting in dizziness, vertigo, loss of balance and other unpleasant symptoms.
What is Vestibular Therapy?
Vestibular Therapy refers to treatments carried out by a specially trained physical therapists, to improve the function of the inner ear following injury or illness. After injury, the signals that our inner ear sends to our brain are not always accurate, causing disconnect between what our eyes see and what our inner ear tells our brains is happening.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common cause of inner eat problems. BPPV is the result of tiny calcium carbonate crystals displacing from their normal location in the utricle of the inner ear due to infection, trauma or aging.
Infection, injury and disease can cause long-term damage to the structure s of the inner ear, which can lead to over-dependence on the visual system (eyes) and the proprioceptive (muscles and joints) for information on the body’s equilibrium. Such long-term symptoms can lead to behaviors or postures that limit functional activity or head movements, which detracts from quality of life.
How Can Game Shape Physical Therapists Help?
We offer the latest vestibular therapy programs:
- Canalith Repositioning Techniques (often referred to as the Epley maneuver) is a series of body and head positions that treat BPPV. This is often successful in relieving symptoms as early as the first visit!
- Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is an exercise-based treatment that is designed to decrease dizziness symptoms, improve balance and increase functional activity levels in those with non-compensated, but stable vestibular dysfunction.
If you have been diagnosed with vestibular disorder, you may experience dizziness, vertigo, or visual disturbances that are related to a disruption in the inner ear. Symptoms of vestibular disorders, including Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), can negatively affect quality of life in many ways.
Fortunately, vestibular rehabilitation can help. At Game Shape Physical Therapy, our therapists have specific training and certifications to be able to treat vestibular disorders.
What are the benefits of Vestibular Rehabilitation?
- Improved balance
- Reduction in falls
- Decreased sensation of dizziness and spinning
- Improved overall safety
The vestibule of the inner ear, along with vision and sensation, are the three systems used to maintain balance. When problems occur in one or more of these systems, the result is dizziness or imbalance. Game Shape’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Program focuses on problems originating from the vestibule of the inner ear. The primary cause of vestibular issues is disease or injury that damages the vestibule thereby leading the individual to receive mixed informational signals involving motion, equilibrium, and balance.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of vestibular issues are:
- Extreme nausea
Vestibular issues can be successfully treated, even if you have had these symptoms for a prolonged period of time. Clinical studies have shown that vestibular rehabilitation has success rates as high as 90%.
Game Shape’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Program can help with several problems including:
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal positional Vertigo)
- Bilateral or Unilateral reduced inter ear function from Meniere’s Disease
- Vestibular Neuritis
A Game Shape vestibular-trained physical therapist will evaluate your particular issue and then develop an individualized treatment plan that will include specific head, body and eye exercises designed for your level and then advance these exercise as you progress. The goal is to retrain your brain to process signals from the vestibule and coordinate them with the visual and proprioception stimuli. The exercises will be challenging as they are designed to elicit symptoms. It is extremely important to follow through with the rehabilitation program and not give up.
Over a period of time your symptoms will begin to diminish allowing you to regain control of your life.