Vestibular Rehabilitation

If you suffer from dizziness or balance problems, you may find it hard to accomplish even simple day-to-day tasks. Dizziness or vertigo may be caused by problems with the vestibular system—the inner ear and part of the body’s balance system. Vestibular and balance therapy at Gundersen may provide relief from dizziness caused by a vestibular disorder.

Vestibular rehabilitation is a type of physical therapy that can help relieve dizziness symptoms. A therapist will provide testing to help determine the cause of dizziness. Treatment may include repositioning for the crystals in the ear or assisting other systems in the body to help compensate for vestibular problems.

Symptoms of a vestibular disorder

  • A sense that surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)
  • Unsteadiness, difficulty walking straight, lack of coordination
  • Nausea or motion sickness
  • Lightheaded, floating or rocking sensation
  • Difficulty walking in the dark

Causes of dizziness

  • Ear infections or inflammation
  • Fluid buildup in the inner ear
  • Migraines
  • Motion sickness
  • Rapid change in motion or position
  • Some medications
  • Aging
  • Symptoms of stroke

Two of the most common vestibular disorders are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and vestibular neuritis. BPPV causes brief episodes of vertigo brought on by position changes. It occurs when tiny crystals in the ear get knocked loose from hair cells and collect in the wrong part of the inner ear. Vestibular neuritis is caused by a virus and has longer episodes of vertigo. There are other causes of dizziness that may benefit from vestibular or balance rehabilitation.

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