How Vestibular Rehabilitation Helps

Girl in vestibular rehabilitation

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation exercises (or vestibular physiotherapy) is a form of physical therapy that addresses brain injuries, balance issues, motion disorders and many other vestibular disorders. It is an effective exercise-based treatment program designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gase instability, and imbalance/falls.

Our research grade balance testing technology helps us better understand what treatment is beneficial for your particular condition. When necessary, we work with a number of healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcome and to help you back on the road to recovery. When assessing whether or not vestibular rehabilitation is for you, our physical therapist will review your medical history and proceed to assess:

  • Balance, leg strength, and flexibility
  • Visual stability and mobility
  • Gait
  • Neck Mobility
  • Arm Strength
  • Positional Testing and inner ear exam

Whether it’s benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, POTS, vestibular neuritis, inner ear crystals, mal de debarquement syndrome, Meniere’s disease, superior canal dehiscence or post-concussion syndrome that’s causing your imbalance, identifying and addressing the cause is essential.

Symptoms Of Vestibular Disorders

Dizziness and vertigo are the most common symptoms of a vestibular balance disorder. Balance disorders can occur at any age but are more prevalent as you get older. Among dizziness and vertigo, other symptoms that you may experience from a vestibular disorder include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Visual disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The goal of vestibular physiotherapy is to train the brain into relying on other reference points for balance outside of the vestibular system by using a combination of specialized exercises and equipment. These exercises aim to decrease dizziness, improve stability, and contribute to concussion recovery. Vestibular physiotherapy is a drug free solution that involves a custom tailored treatment for each unique case!

patient working on balance issues
vestibular physiotherapy session

Who Are Good Candidates For Vestibular Rehabilitation?

While individual assessments for specific situations are carried out by physicians and specialists, in general we find vestibular physiotherapy helpful for patients with diagnoses of:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Vertigo
  • Migraines
  • Meniere’s Disease

Vestibular rehabilitation physio treatment starts with an assessment at our clinic and a review of your medical history. We’ll look at factors such as balance, visual stability, neck mobility, gait and inner ear, among others. From this we develop a course of action for vestibular physiotherapy, all designed to improve your function in routine activities as well as your overall quality of life. In the majority of instances we see patients who undergo vestibular rehabilitation (either on its own or in tandem with other treatment) overcome balance and dizziness issues.

To find out whether vestibular rehabilitation (vestibular physiotherapy) is right for your symptoms and circumstances, contact us today.

The Benefits Of Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation or vestibular physiotherapy is designed in order to improve your functioning in everyday activities to minimize the prevalence of your symptoms. Among the many benefits that come with vestibular rehabilitation include:

  • Understanding Your Limits – it’s important to know what your limits are and to understand what is safe and what isn’t. By setting your limits, you can avoid dangerous situations and better evaluate how your symptoms could impact the outcome of a scenario.
  • Habituation – By experiencing your symptoms and gaining better control over them, you can gradually start to overcome feelings of motion sickness.
  • Improved Brain Plasticity – By making changes to central connections in your brain, you can compensate for peripheral disturbances.
  • Overcoming Balance & Dizziness Issues – A majority of our patients are able to overcome their balance and dizziness issues through vestibular rehabilitation.

Every treatment plan and every vestibular disorder has its own set of nuances that need a custom-tailored approach. For a thorough assessment and to create a personalized treatment plan for your specific circumstances, contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team.

a patient in the middle of vestibular rehabilitation

View our brain treatment options

Explore Treatments

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve seen good results with vestibular therapy in many patients with vestibular issues, vertigo, inner ear disorders, and patients experiencing dizziness, imbalance and/or visual disturbance. When you visit the Broadview Spine & Health Centre in Ottawa and meet with your chiropractic neurologist, we’ll assess your conditions & issues, listen to your concerns and work together with you to develop the best course of action to meet your goals. This may very well include vestibular therapy.

The vestibular system is made up of parts of the inner ear and the brain that controls balance and eye movements. A vestibular order is a condition where the vestibular system is damaged, resulting in one or more of the following symptoms: Vertigo and dizziness, imbalance, vision disturbance, hearing change psychological symptoms. Vestibular damage can come as a result of disease, aging, or injury such as a concussion.

Vestibular disorders are often associated with symptoms such as dizziness, balance issues, motion sickness, visual disturbance, etc. Sometimes this can include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and/or a reduced ability to concentrate for sustained durations.

Extended symptoms and indirect consequences of long-term effects of vestibular disorders can include psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. People with vestibular disorders tend not to move as much, and this physical inactivity can have significant consequences such as weight gain, muscle deterioration, weakness and other unwanted effects. That’s why it’s important to treat vestibular disorders early, so that symptoms and effects don’t spiral out of control to affect your entire lifestyle.

Once we do a comprehensive assessment to determine the nature and scope of your particular vestibular issues, we will work with you to come up with a treatment plan that includes specialized exercises as part of your vestibular rehabilitation therapy. These could include an ear canal repositioning exercise to address an inner disorder; or balance exercises to help reduce motion issues and restore balance for a healthier, happier, more productive lifestyle. The important thing is that a patient (a) understands what the exercises are intended to do and why & how they work; and (b) that he or she is committed to doing the exercises properly and consistently to follow through and see long-term results.

The first thing to do with our process is to come into the Broadview Spine & Health Centre in Ottawa for a comprehensive assessment. Once we’ve met with you and gotten a better understanding of the vestibular issues that you are facing, we will recommend a course of specialized treatment for you. If this includes vestibular rehabilitation therapy, you can expect to be given a series of exercises to perform both in clinic and at home. It’s important that you expect long-term results to be gained from long-term commitment to these exercises, and that you understand that you will likely not see overnight results but that you will, rest assured, be on the road to recovery. We know that vestibular disorders come with their of physical and emotional challenges. We are here to help you get better.

If you have experienced a Traumatic brain injury, stroke, or concussion and suffer from dizziness, vertigo, or migraines, vestibular therapy can help alleviate your symptoms. Vestibular rehabilitation is also helpful for people with Meniere’s Syndrome or other balance issues. To see if vestibular rehabilitation is for you, contact the specialists at Broadview Health Centre.

For most patients undergoing vestibular therapy, Initial results are felt within 48 hours. Typically a patient will feel significant improvements in about 2 weeks. After about 3 months patients will typically be back to normal or have progressed as much as much as is possible.

A concussion can negatively impact the delicate inner ear balance sensors and connections to the brain. Many people experience dizziness and vertigo after a concussion due to a malfunction in a part of the vestibular system. Vestibular therapy (or vestibular rehabilitation) can help improve symptoms experienced after a concussion. If you have suffered a concussion and are experiencing wooziness, dizziness, and balance issues, contact the specialists at Broadview Health Centre.