Those who suffer from an inner ear or balance disorder are often diagnosed with a condition referred to as Vestibular Dysfunction. Vestibular Dysfunctions can degrade the quality of life and have significant negative effects on independence.
Patients who have been diagnosed with Vestibular Disorders report a wide variety of symptoms including loss of balance, dizziness, and vertigo. Some patients also report an increased inability to focus which can cause vomiting. In the event that you or someone you know has these symptoms; it is important to consider vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT).
VRT is a physical therapy technique that uses hands-on (manual) techniques and exercises to reduce vestibular symptoms including:
- Visual disturbances
- Joint stiffness
- Decreased flexibility of the muscles
- Low muscle strength
- Anxiety and depression related to loss of function
How We Help You
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy at Oklahoma Physical Therapy is customized to fit the particular needs of each patient. This problem-oriented approach is based on a thorough clinical examination by one of our trained physical therapists. The treatment typically includes one of the following:
- Balance training exercises often include:
- Visual cues
- Dual-task – this is an exercise where the patient is required to perform a certain task while balancing
- Coordinating body movement strategies including hip and ankle movements
- Gaze stabilization exercises:
- Patients are taught to control their eye movements by fixating on a particular object, all the while moving their heads in various directions.
- Patients might be taken through gaze shifting exercises also intended to help with gaze stabilization.
- Habituation exercises:
- Designed to treat dizziness and such other symptoms that result from visual stimuli or self-movement.
- During habituation exercises, patients’ brains are exposed to certain visual stimuli or movements that often make them dizzy. This exposure is repeated until the patients’ brains learn to ignore the unusual signals their inner ears keep sending, which over time reduces dizziness.