Dizziness and balance problems can significantly impact the quality of life. In most cases, individuals who experience such problems are suffering from a vestibular impairment. The impairment may be due to a head injury, stroke or another medical condition.
Treatment may include eye-head exercises, habituation exercises, progressive balance training (strength, core, and flexibility exercises), compensatory techniques, gait training, and Canalith Repositioning. Canalith Repositioning, sometimes referred to as Epley’s Maneuver, is very effective in treating Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
Vestibular rehabilitation includes specific exercises that aim to improve dizziness, balance and reduce fall risks, gaze stability, motion sensitivity and visual vertigo.
Vestibular rehabilitation includes specific exercises that aim to improve:
- Balance and reduce fall risk
- Gaze stability
- Motion sensitivity
- Visual vertigo
Each person’s exercise program is designed specifically for him or her by our expert staff.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is characterized by spells of vertigo (a type of dizziness), lasting less than one (1) minute that occur when the patient moves the head into particular positions. Typically this occurs when looking up, lying down or rolling over in bed. This particular type of vertigo is caused by a problem with the balance system of the inner ear (the labyrinth). It is thought that debris (called canaliths or "ear rocks") break off secondary to a jarring of the inner ear and subsequently collect in the inner ear.
How is BPPV diagnosed?
The physical therapist performs a history, a physical assessment and balance tests. If indicated, further diagnostic testing can be ordered - such as an EMG or MRI.
How is BPPV treated in Physical Therapy?
Certain exercises may be helpful for certain patients as well manual maneuvers, such as Canalith repositioning. It is also important to perform a complete assessment of the cervical and cranial base regions to identify any joint or soft-tissue dysfunctions that may be contributing to the symptoms.
Are there any risks with this treatment?
Patients may experience nausea while the canaliths are being repositioned. This is rare. And it is possible that short term dizziness may occur immediately after the treatment. However, there is usually immediate relief from the symptoms.