Vestibular rehabilitation is effective in treating problems with vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbance and imbalance. It can also help treat issues secondary to many vestibular disorders, such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue and a reduced ability to focus or concentrate. This type of rehabilitation is exercise-based and can make you feel better through adaptation, substitution or habituation. Adaptation is when your brain learns to change how it processes the incorrect information coming in. Substitution involves utilizing other senses, such as visual inputs, more efficiently. Habituation involves getting your body used to the sensation of dizziness in the hopes that after a while the symptoms will be less severe.
The goal of vestibular rehab therapy is to use a problem-oriented approach to address your specific issues, creating an individualized treatment plan. There are four ways the vestibular rehabilitation is set up; based on your symptoms, one or more of these may be used.
A home based program is ideal for individuals who do not require supervision or are unable to come to the clinic as often as needed for in-patient rehab. Your doctor will design a series of exercises that can be completed at home and will meet with you to review the plan before you start. Many report a reduction in their symptoms within three to four weeks.
In-clinic vestibular rehab is designed for those who need supervision during their exercises and is primarily focused on fall prevention. This form of rehabilitation utilizes many challenging exercises on a variety of machines. While difficult, this program can be completed in 10 to 16 two-hour sessions.
Balance retraining exercises are used to improve your steadiness while performing daily activities and to reduce your risk of falling. These exercises must be somewhat challenging while also being safe. They can include stationary movement as well as dual tasks, such as doing something while balancing. Reducing your risk of falling can be achieved by training you to walk on uneven ground.
Reposition and Epley maneuvers are used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a common balance disorder characterized by the sudden sensation that you are spinning that is triggered by changes in the position of your head (such as sitting up too quickly). These maneuvers are useful at removing any debris (known as ear rocks) from your ear. This rehabilitation can provide relief from BPPV in only a few sessions.
Call Hebert Medical Group at (337) 550-8530 for more information or to schedule an appointment.