What is Vestibular Physiotherapy?
The vestibular system is composed of the inner ear that works in conjunction with the brain and the senses to provide sensory information such as balance and spatial orientation for the body to interpret and coordinate and adjust their movements accordingly. The vestibular system is complex and requires professionals to accurately diagnose and treat vertigo and vestibular dysfunctions.
So, what if I am experiencing vertigo or I am experiencing problems with the vestibular system?
This is where vestibular physiotherapists come in. We are highly trained physiotherapists that are specialized in treating vertigo and vestibular dysfunction. The ultimate goal is to reduce and stop vertigo symptoms and vestibular dysfunctions through education, balance retraining therapy, exercise-based program, vestibular rehabilitation therapy, lifestyle changes and hands on treatment to eliminate your symptoms.
This type of therapy involves treating the inner ear, eye-tracking, challenging the body’s ability to maintain balance on various surfaces and walking with head turns. Depending on your condition your treatment plan may include some other therapies that we provide at our clinic including functional dry needling, massage therapy, medical acupuncture,
Vertigo physiotherapy can help with a wide range of conditions, including:
- Common symptoms of dizziness or any problems related to dizziness?
- Common causes of vertigo?
- Getting motion sickness?
- Needing to hold on to objects for support because you or the room is spinning?
- Difficulty with focusing your eyes on images?
- Are you experiencing nausea or vomiting?
- Finding it hard to hear due to hearing loss in one or both ears?
- Ringing in the ears?
- Sleep disturbances due to musculoskeletal pain?
- Working at office with unbearable neck pain?
- Balance impairments due to inner ear disorders?
- Reduced muscle strength and flexibility?
Will Vestibular Physiotherapy Help me?
You may benefit from vestibular physiotherapy if you are experiencing any of the following issues:
Dizziness can result from your brain, neck or vestibular system. Your vertigo physiotherapist can assess and treat this symptom.
Hearing in one or both ears can result from inner ear dysfunction as the nerves and organs related to hearing are also involved in your vestibular system.
A symptom that is caused by vertigo. This occurs when there is a dysfunction of the support function of the neck, vestibular system, or the brain.
Difficulty Focusing With Your Vision
Your eyes need to be stable to focus on an object. In vestibular dysfunctions, gaze stability control and ocular motility are often affected.
Ringing In The Ears
Vestibular disorders can contribute to symptoms such as tinnitus, or also known as, ringing in the ears.
5 Vertigo Exercises for You
By working on your vestibular system you can lower your risk for falls, improve your symptoms and and have better control of your life! These exercises should be done under the supervision of your treating physiotherapist.
Epley’s Maneuver Exercises
Sit upright in bed. Place your legs straight ahead and put a pillow behind you. Turn your head 45 degrees to the left. Lie back quickly until your shoulders are on the pillow. Hold for 30 seconds. Turn your head 90 degrees to the right without lifting it up. Hold for 30 seconds. Turn your body and head another 90 degrees to the right. Hold for 30 seconds. Sit upright on the right edge of the bed. Repeat on the opposite side for right sided Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo BPPV.
Sit on the edge of the bed and turn your head 45 degrees to the right. Swiftly drop to the left until your head is on the bed, hold for 30 seconds. In one movement, move your body to the right side. Keep your head at the same angle. Hold for 30 seconds, the return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side if you have right sided benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
Sit in the middle of the bed with your feet on the floor, turn your head 45 degrees to the right. Keeping your head in the same position, lay down on your left side. Hold for 30 seconds, return back to the starting position and also hold for 30 seconds. Turn your head 45 degrees to the left and lay down on your left side without changing the angle of your head. Wait for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position and staying for 30 seconds. Complete one set of five repetitions per side.
Gaze Stability Exercises
Look straight ahead while you focus on a letter that is at your eye level. Turn your head side to side while maintaining your focus on the letter. The letter should stay in focus, if you get too dizzy, slow down. Build up your head movement speed as tolerated. Perform the exercise until it brings on mild to moderate symptoms. Your body will learn to adapt and you will be able to increase your time according. Work up to performing 3-5 times per day.
Kneel down and place your hands on the floor as you tilt your head back. Wait for the symptoms to pass. Place your forehead on the floor and keep your chin tucked in. Turn your head 45 degrees to face your left elbow and hold for 30 seconds. Keeping your head at a 45 degree angle, raise your head so that it is level with your head and shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds and wait for the dizziness to pass. Finish by raising your head to the fully upright position. Repeat on the opposite side if you have right-sided benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
Online Treatment Also Available
Although Video Consultations aren’t a new service, it may be new to you. And you may have some concerns or questions that need to be answered before you start treatment. Consider our no charge video consult where you will get all of your questions answered by a registered physiotherapist.