- Contact Info: (902) 469-3214 for appointment or information
- Janice Webber, PT, CST(cert.), CAFCI(acup.)
About Vestibular Rehabilitation
Dizziness and Balance Disorders can be treated with Vestibular Rehabilitation. Trained physiotherapists and other health professionals can assess the causes of the dizziness. Vestibular system disorders occur with head trauma and often occur after whiplash, degeneration of the vestibular system which occurs as we age, vestibular neuritis and/or labryinthitis which can be can be checked for via an audiologist or an ENT specialist, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s Disease, or acoustic neuroma. Other causes can be cardiovascular, neurological, visual defects, or psychogenic dizziness. All of these additional causes are investigated by your doctor.
Dizziness and balance disorders have a wide array of causes and effects. A comprehensive subjective and objective assessment is necessary to rule in or out all potential causes. The vestibular system regulates gaze stability (keeping the eyes steady while we move around) and balance. It encompasses the inner ear including the semicircular canals and its connections through various parts of the central nervous system (CNS) to the eye muscles as well as to balance receptors throughout the body. The connections with the CNS are vital to understand the many reasons for dizziness and balance problems. The CNS must be functioning well to be able to control all of the information from the inner ear, eyes and the rest of the body. The CNS is remarkably able to change and adapt to inner ear and other peripheral dysfunctions if properly challenged.
Fig.2 Osseous (grey/white) and membranous (lavender) labyrinth of the inner ear
Parnes L S et al., CMAJ 2003; 169:681-693 (c) 2003 by Canadian Medical Association
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of balance disorder, with an estimated 300,000 new cases diagnosed in Canada each year. Dizziness, in one form or another, affects approximately 50 percent of adult Canadians at some time in their lives. That means over 80% of people over 65 years have experienced dizziness and BPPV is the cause in about 50% of the dizziness. BPPV can be characterized by three main symptoms: positional onset, spinning dizziness and short lived symptoms. The client may report getting dizzy if they move their head quickly, getting up from tying their shoes, or getting something down from a shelf repeatedly.
But there is good news for these thousands of sufferers: Treatment options are available.
The testing is quite simple, the Dix-Hallpike test, and the treatment, Epley manoeuvre is the usual one used, has a 98% success rate with 3 sessions. Clients are taught the treatment technique for BPPV and can use it as needed if there is a reoccurrence. The treatment is not a cure but puts the vertigo into remission. Clients can then see if the technique works. If not, then there is another aspect of the vestibular system in dysfunction.
Issues of dizziness and balance can occur after motor vehicle collisions, neck injuries, concussions, and falls.
Janice has added Vestibular Rehabilitation to her regime of treatment, when needed, for MVC, concussion, post falling, or neck injuries. She can assess to see if you have BPPV or a neck issue as the cause for your dizziness. She can liaise with family doctor if the dizziness may be caused by another issue.