What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

By Darwin Paulraj, Physiotherapist

Vestibular Rehabilitation is a specialized form of physiotherapy intended to alleviate symptoms caused by disorders of the inner ear. Our vestibular physiotherapist at Stride in Red Deer can evaluate and assess problems related to unilateral and bilateral vestibular hypofunction, central vestibular disorders, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). These symptoms may include dizziness, gaze instability, imbalance, and falls.

Recovery can be impacted by many factors including activity level, pain, other medical conditions, and emotional concerns.

What is the Vestibular System?

Your vestibular system consists of three components:

  1. The visual system
  2. The vestibular apparatus of the inner ear
  3. The somatosensory system

The vestibular apparatus is sitting in our inner ear, and it has five sensory organs which include three semicircular canals and two otolith organs called the utricle and the saccule.

Who Can Benefit from Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Patients who are experiencing the following symptoms may be good candidates for Vestibular Rehabilitation:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Neck aches
  • Light-headedness
  • Shakiness
  • Swaying
  • Spinning
  • Sensations of “fullness” or “pressure” in the ears
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Loss of balance

What Does an Appointment with Our Vestibular Physiotherapist Include?

Before the assessment, every patient will be asked to complete a series of screening questionnaires followed by a 60-minute extensive assessment with our trained vestibular physiotherapist. The assessment includes administering different tests to evaluate problems more objectively. Your physical therapist will use vestibular goggles to screen the visual and vestibular systems to observe how well your eye movements are being controlled. Next, your therapist will provide you with a customized exercise plan to work on the findings from the clinical assessment. Compliance with the home exercise program is essential to help achieve rehabilitation and reduce symptoms. Our goal is to get our clients to be symptom-free and to have a good quality of life as quickly as possible.

If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms, feel free to book an appointment with us today by calling 403-343-8891 or online here.