What We Do
Vestibular Rehabilitation & Balance Training
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is a form of physical therapy used to treat vertigo and dizziness caused by vestibular (inner ear) disorders such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), uncompensated Ménière disease, vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis, perilymphatic fistula, acoustic neuroma, and various central nervous system disorders. VRT uses specialized exercises that involve specific head, body and eye movements to retrain the vestibular system. Specifically designed VRT exercise protocols take advantage of the brain’s plasticity to increase sensitivity and to relearn alternative visual and sensory cues relative to the body to maintain balance and gait and restore symmetry to the system. Treatment may include:
- Canalith Repositioning – Involves maneuvering the patient’s head in a sequence of positions in a certain order to clear out calcium carbonate crystals from the semicircular canals in the inner ear.
- Gaze Stabilization Exercises – Work to improve the vestibular-ocular reflex by focusing the eyes on various targets while moving the head and eyes at different speeds in specific directions.
- Balance Retraining – Exercises designed to improve coordination of sensory information from eyes, ears and tactile/muscle receptors for improved equilibrium and balance.
- Vastibular Habituation/Adaptation or Substitution Excercises – Specific movements or positions that provoke the patient’s symptoms. The patient is asked to repeat these movements until the brain becomes accustomed to the response or adapts to the conflicting information. This process resolves the conflict between the brain and the vestibular mechanism of the ear.