Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specialized form of therapy designed to alleviate symptoms related to a variety of vestibular disorders (inner ear/balance). It involves manual techniques and/or an exercise-based program designed to promote central nervous system compensation for inner ear deficits.
Vestibular Problems Treated by VRT
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Ménière’s disease
- Vestibular neuritis
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Dizziness after traumatic brain injury (TBI)
VRT is an evidence-based treatment and has been extensively researched. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these areas, vestibular disorders can occur resulting in dizziness, vertigo, nausea, balance problems, and other symptoms.
Many people are able to recover from these symptoms on their own after a few weeks of normal activity because the brain has adapted with a process called vestibular compensation. In other cases, the symptoms persist and vestibular rehabilitation therapy can help to reduce the symptoms or habituate the client to the reduced motion tolerance.
At Propel Physiotherapy, a registered physiotherapist with training and experience in vestibular rehabilitation will perform a thorough assessment that includes the following:
- A detailed medical history in which you detail the severity and frequency of your symptoms, your triggers, and the impact your symptoms have on your life.
- Test balance and gait, motion sensitivity, severity of vertigo, and the musculoskeletal system involved to determine the source of the dizziness or balance problem.
- Eye-head coordination tests that measure how well a person’s eyes track a moving object with or without head movement are also performed.
Using the evaluation results, the therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan that includes specific head, body, and eye exercises to be performed both in the therapy setting and at home.