By: Emily Clark, Physical Therapist
People with inner ear disorders or movement-related dizziness can be treated with physical therapy, called vestibular rehabilitation. Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise approach to decrease dizzy symptoms and disequilibrium as well and increase function and activity level. Commonly diagnosed disorders include vertigo, gait instability, benign paroxsysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Menieres, or labrynthitis/neuritis.
Many symptoms of dizziness arise from problems within the vestibular system causing a person to have extreme difficulty in moving within their environment, largely impacting one’s function, employability and quality of life. Physical therapy can be appropriate to help relieve dizziness and help one feel more steady and safe on their feet, with return to normal daily and recreational activities. Secondary symptoms such as decreased strength, joint stiffness, and increased muscular tension in the neck are common and can be treated with physical therapy too.
Patients will be thoroughly evaluated by a licensed and specialty-trained physical therapist and can begin treatment after their initial visit. All treatments include a home exercise program that the individual can do on their own with weekly visits with the physical therapist for re-assessment and progression of the home exercises. The physical therapist will remain in close communication with the referring physician.
If you are experiencing dizziness, sensitivity to motion or imbalance, talk to your physician or physical therapist about appropriate treatment options.