Treatment of Vertigo, Dizziness and Balance DisordersVertigo and dizziness is a common complaint which people regularly experience; however, when these symptoms persist, they can impact quality of life, function and participation in daily activities. The vestibular system is a group of organs in your inner ear which are responsible for balance, coordination, and movement. When impaired, patients can experience spinning (vertigo), dizziness, nausea, imbalance, visual disturbances, and light-headedness. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is an emerging field within physiotherapy. VRT utilizes manual therapy (hands-on methods) and patient-centred exercises to re-position the crystals within the inner ear, as well as re-training the brain to better process the signals from the inner ear and nervous system. VRT can help with a variety of vestibular disorders such as: – Vertigo (BPPV and other varients) – Post-concussion syndrome – Dizziness related to neck pain or trauma (i.e. whiplash) – Meniere’s disease – Labrynthitis – Vestibular neuritis At Foundation Physiotherapy, our VRT physiotherapist has received advanced training from the Balance and Dizziness Clinic of Canada. The assessment involves an in-depth history of symptoms; detailed objective testing of your neck, head and eye movements; functional testing of balance and stability and a series of manual testing to help better categorize your form of vertigo. Upon categorizing your symptoms, the appropriate treatment plan is delivered. Treatment will involve manual therapy of the neck and head, education, biomechanical and positioning correction, and home exercises. Approximately 50%of patients resolve episodic symptoms within 3 visits and can prevent future onset by maintaining the positioning and postural exercises. Others may have chronic symptoms which will take more time and a structured rehabilitation program. Please arrive 15 minutes ahead of your appointment to complete the necessary intake forms, and bring any relevant medical documents with you — MRI/CT scan reports and specialist reports. Bring a list of your current medication and please continue to take them as prescribed. The assessment procedures will reproduce your symptoms, so you may experience an increase in dizziness and/or nausea following your first visit. Most clients are able to drive, return to work, and function normally following the assessment. However, if your symptoms are already quite acute, you may want to have someone accompany you to the appointment. VRT is carried out by a registered physiotherapist. If you have extended health coverage for physiotherapy, your vestibular sessions will be covered. If you require a physician’s requisition for physiotherapy coverage, please visit your family doctor as soon as possible.
Our vestibular physiotherapist is a member of the Vestibular Disorders Association. As a member, we’re connected with other vestibular professionals in North America and kept up to date on the most recent advances in vestibular rehabilitation.