Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation (VRT)
Physical rehabilitation for dizziness and imbalance is known as vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT), or sometimes referred to as balance rehabilitation. Evidence has demonstrated that VRT can be effective in improving symptoms related to many vestibular - inner ear / balance - disorders (1,2).
Individuals with vestibular dysfunction can experience problems with vertigo (feeling like self, or the world, is moving), dizziness (light-headedness, giddiness), visual disturbance, and/or imbalance. Other problems can also arise as a result of vestibular dysfunction, such as nausea and/or vomiting, reduced ability to focus or concentrate, and fatigue. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy aims to address these various problems.
What is vestibular rehabilitation (VRT)?
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specifically directed, exercise-based therapy primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gaze instability, and/or imbalance and falls. Following vestibular system damage, individuals can improve their symptoms and function through nervous system compensation. The goal of VRT is to promote this nervous system compensation by customising exercise therapy strategies to address each individual's specific problem(s).
Before a VRT program can be designed, a comprehensive clinical examination is required to identify the vestibular dysfunction(s). The clinical examination involves different tests including assessment of: the visual and vestibular systems (to observe how well eye movements are being controlled); muscle strength, coordination, posture, balance, and gait (walking ability). This evaluation can help to more objectively evaluate each individual.
The findings of the clinical examination, in combination with results from any blood testing, advanced diagnostics, imaging studies, as well as the individuals health goals are utilised to design an individually tailored VRT program. The VRT may include: canal repositioning manoeuvres; habituation exercises; gaze stabilisation exercises; oculomotor exercises; and/or balance exercises.
Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation at Optimize Sports Chiropractic
At Optimize Sports Chiropractic, we utilise and integrate balance and vestibular rehabilitation as part of the individualized multi-modal management approach of conditions such as: BPPV; vestibular neuritis; concussion; post-concussion syndrome; whiplash associated disorders (WAD); post-traumatic vertigo; multi-sensory dizziness (dysequilibrium); vestibular migraine and more.
If you have any specific questions, or want to know if we can help, feel free to contact Brett or Ryan, or call our friendly reception staff to schedule a consultation.
McDonnell MN, Hillier SL. Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005397. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005397.pub4
Herdman SJ. Vestibular rehabilitation. Curr Opin Neurol; 2013:26:96-101.