Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation is physical therapy that maximizes the body’s natural ability to compensate for vestibular/balance disorders. Chad has taken courses specific to vestibular rehabilitation, studied the text Vestibular Rehabilitation Third Edition by Susan J. Herdman, and consulted with his friend and balance expert Brian Werner of the Werner Balance Centers in Las Vegas in addition to reviewing ongoing research and practical applications.

Absolute Physical Therapy’s mission is to provide an optimal environment for diagnosing and treating patients suffering from vestibular dysfunction. Chad treats a wide range of conditions that can result in dizziness and imbalance—including, but not limited to:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Inner ear concussion syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • CVA/stroke
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Diagnosis and Treatment

A comprehensive evaluation is performed on each patient when he or she enters the program, to determine the specific nature of the vestibular dysfunction. An individualized treatment plan is then developed by Chad. This plan may include:

  • Balance retraining, utilizing both static and dynamic balance exercises
  • Gaze stabilization exercises
  • Habituation exercises
  • Compensatory strategies
  • Canalith repositioning for BPPV
  • Strength and cardiovascular conditioning
  • A individualized home and/or fitness center based exercise program

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise based treatment program directed at reducing feelings of dizziness and vertigo often associated with head movement. Often the feelings of vertigo cause the patient to forgo normal movements and exercises resulting in secondary impairments including decreased strength, endurance, and associated increased risk of falls. Both primary and secondary impairments have adverse effects on a patient’s daily life, including employability and independence. At Absolute Physical Therapy, additional measures to secure a patient’s safety and feeling of security has been put in place in the form of multiple harnesses that can be secured throughout the facility for use with different pieces of equipment.

Vestibular rehabilitation works by organizing the central nervous system, desensitizing one’s system from feelings of dizziness, correcting balance compensation strategies, and using exercise to replace surgical procedures. Each treatment plan is individualized depending on the symptoms, and although the exercises are relatively simple, they may be difficult at first, due to initial aggravation of the vertigo, and retraining of the brain. Fortunately, with expertise it is very easy to diagnose and treat, with symptoms often eliminated in 1-2 visits. If the patient has additional risk factors, such as weakness, recovery may take 4-8 weeks.