Vestibular Rhabilitation

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercise-based therapy aimed at alleviating vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbances, and improving balance.  When these symptoms are experienced for a period of time, a person may also develop nausea/vomiting, inability to concentrate or focus, as well as fatigue.  If symptoms continue over a prolonged period of time, a person may limit their day to day activity, and become sedentary, which can result in reconditioning of the whole body.

What conditions may be treated?

There are a vast number of causes of dizziness and balance issues.  It is important that you have been seen by a physician and cleared medically before starting vestibular rehab, in order to rule out any potentially serious causes of our symptoms.

Conditions which may benefit from treatment include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vestibular Neuritis/Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular Degeneration
  • Vestibular Trauma, i.e. due to concussion or motor vehicle accident

What can I expect on my first visit?

On your first visit, your physiotherapist will conduct an assessment which may include a health history; evaluation of standing and walking balance; sensation and strength of the lower body; tests to evaluate the co-ordination and communication between the eyes and inner ears about where the body is in space (aka. proprioception); evaluation of dizziness provoking positions; and an examination of the neck (cervical spine) range of motion and strength.

Following the assessment, your physiotherapist will prescribe an exercise program and make recommendations regarding follow-up treatment (frequency, treatment elements, etc.).  Treatment is aimed at compensating for the part of the system which is causing the symptoms.

Please go to our blog page for a more in-depth description of the vestibular system and to learn more!

** NOTE: Vestibular rehabilitation qualifies for coverage under the physiotherapy portion of most extended health care benefits (i.e. Sun Life, Great West Life etc.).

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