Vertigo/Vestibular Rehab

Physical Therapist Balance Testing - Vestibular Rehabilitation

Performed at our Foxboro, Norwood, and Framingham locations

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy or VRT, is an exercise program that promotes the compensation of the central nervous system for an inner ear deficit. Vestibular Rehab can help with a variety of balance problems, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) along with unilateral or bilateral vestibular hypofunction (reduced inner ear function) associated with Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuritis. Patients with long-term inner ear disorders who have seen little or no improvement after undergoing a period of medical management surely may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation. Our treatment can also help people who have suffered from a loss of vestibular function following surgery.

Why would you need vestibular rehabilitation?

Vertigo, balance problems, and dizziness can be some of the symptoms you may experience when your vestibular organs are damaged due to an injury or disease. Your vestibular organs are no longer the brains “go-to” source to establish equilibrium. You may be able to recover from these symptoms on your own after a few weeks of normal activity since the brain can compensates for your lack in vestibular function. If your brain fails to compensate for this loss you will end up using your eyes and muscles to compensate and regain balance. This can cause a change in your posture and sometimes will change how you hold and move your head as you try to manually stop your dizziness. You may find yourself looking towards the floor while you walk as your way to focus your mind on what your body is doing instead of the confusing spins that are going on around you. Trying to self compensate can worsen your symptoms and add headaches and fatigue to the list.

Our Goal

Our goal is to get your brain to process the vestibular systems signals and work with your eyes and your muscles to maintain a healthy sense of balance.

Your Vestibular Therapy Appointment

Our qualified physical therapists will initially perform an evaluation, going over your medical history while observing your posture, movement, and eye-hand coordination. The physical therapist will also go over your symptoms and ask you questions to determine the severity of your health problem. Next, the physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan for you which may include body, head, and eye exercises. These exercises should be performed in our office and at your home in order to “retrain your brain” to understand the signals being sent from your vestibular system and allow them to work together with your vision and body. If you’re diagnoses warrants, more specialized forms of vestibular therapy may be performed such as the Epley maneuver

What are the effects of Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Sometimes after starting vestibular treatment you may experience an increase in some of your symptoms. This may temp you to stop the treatment since you think that it is not helping but we encourage you to stay the course since in most cases patients see an improvement in balance after some time. Following the instruction of your physical therapist will greatly increase your chances of recovery.

What is decompensation?

After your treatment the brain has learned to compensate for vestibular dysfunction, but sometimes a sickness, surgery, or anything else that interrupts normal activity for a few days can cause your brain to disregard what it learned and allow your old symptoms to make a comeback. This is referred to as decompensation. If this occurs, quickly return to your exercised that you learned and your symptoms will usually subside within a few days. If your symptoms persist or are severe, it is important to get a diagnosis and medical treatment because this suggests that additional vestibular damage has occurred.

Choose Allied Physical Therapy for your Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy!

Visit us at one of our three locations in Foxboro, Norwood, and Framingham or feel free to call us with any questions.


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