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Vestibular Therapy Overview

Vestibular Therapy is a form of physical therapy to address disorders of the vestibular, or inner ear balance organ. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms including dizziness and instability. There are many different types of vestibular dysfunction that requires specific interventions including repositioning maneuvers, gaze stabilization exercises and balance treatment.

What is the vestibular treatment plan?

A typical vestibular evaluation begins with a comprehensive look at all of your balance systems. From this information, the physical therapist will determine the treatment plan that is best for your needs. Some treatments plans last 1-2 visits, but other individuals require multiple weeks of therapy.

Common Vestibular Disorders

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Vestibular Hypofunction or Weakness

Concussions

Cervicogenic Dizziness

General Balance Dysfunction

Common Questions

Is imbalance normal as we get older?

Although it is more common in older adults, balance dysfunction and dizziness are not considered a normal part of aging. A physical therapist can evaluate and identify weakness in one of the three balance systems. Physical therapy treatment can help the patient regain stability and decrease their risk for falls.

I think I have BPPV (the “crystals” are loose), do I just need the maneuver?

Some individuals with BPPV can be treated relatively quickly with one or two maneuvers, commonly known as the Epley maneuver. However, there are different types of BPPV that require different maneuvers or additional treatment. For this reason, it is always best that a patient come to the clinic for a full evaluation.

Do I need to see a doctor before coming to therapy?

As a physical therapist we are able to screen you appropriately for dizziness and balance disorders without seeing a physician first. Our evaluation involves not only testing for your balance systems, but also comprehensive screening to identify individuals who may need to seek specialty care from a physician. Most individual who seek out a physician’s exam first are sent for physical therapy for treatment of their disorder. If you have questions, please call our office.

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