Vestibular Rehabilitation therapy is one of the many innovative services Southern Rehab & Sports Medicine offers its patients. This particular form of therapy treats patients who suffer from complaints of dizziness, vertigo, sense of imbalance or motion sensitivity. These symptoms could vary in duration, could be positional or induced by certain movement, or persistent over long periods.
What is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy?
Most commonly, vestibular rehabilitation therapy is used to treat patients with symptoms like vertigo and vestibular hypofunction (a term used when the balance system in your inner ear, known as the peripheral vestibular system, is not functioning correctly).
An evaluation performed for patients experiencing vestibular dysfunction includes a screening of different systems that can cause a patient to experience dizziness.
“During this screening process we take the patient’s temperature, blood pressure, and a thorough medical history,” explains Gacek. “We also check for a history of viral infections, head trauma, symptoms of cervicogenic dizziness as well as other systemic causes of dizziness.”
The team can use the results from their thorough screening process to narrow down which ear and which ear canal is probable in causing vertigo or hypofunction and then make a treatment plan to treat patients by improving balance and reducing other risks. The team at Southern Rehab and Sports Medicine treats patients suffering from vestibular hypofunction differently from those suffering from vertigo.
Causes of Vertigo
The most common cause of vertigo is known as BBPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). BBPV is a subset of dizziness commonly caused by otoconia, structures made of calcium carbonate, that become displaced from the saccule or the utricle of the inner ear. BBPV is normally diagnosed based on the rotational component of dizziness and the length of time patients experience vertigo. This type of vertigo can make the patient’s brain think it is moving when they are not.
Dr. Marissa Gacek PT, DPT, Cert. DN, Cert. VRS is a Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist at Southern Rehab and Sports Medicine. Through a series of evaluations, Dr. Gacek can determine specific information such as which canal the otoconia are traveling in. Gacek is then able to perform various repositioning maneuvers to treat symptoms caused by this displacement. These repositioning maneuvers often provide patients with immediate relief.
Expert therapists at Southern Rehab and Sports Medicine, like Dr. Gacek, are highly-capable in identifying the cause of symptoms or balance disorders and are skilled at designing treatment plans moving forward using vestibular rehabilitation therapy to treat vestibular hypofunction or BBPV.
After following this treatment patients should experience a reduction in previous symptoms as well as improved functional mobility that will allow patients to be able to participate in the normal activities they love.
If you’re suffering from dizziness, vertigo, sense of imbalance or motion sensitivity, schedule an appointment at Southern Rehab and Sports Medicine. No physician referral is necessary; most insurance covers physical therapy without a doctor visit.