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Vestibular Physiotherapy: Your Solution to Dizziness and Balance Issues in Adelaide

Vestibular Physiotherapy

The vestibular system is responsible for our sense of balance, orientation, and spatial awareness. When this system is compromised, it can lead to a range of symptoms, such as dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems.

Common causes of these symptoms can include but are not limited to Labyrinthitis, Meniere’s Disease, Vestibular Neuritis and Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

What is Vestibular Physiotherapy?

Vestibular physiotherapy is a specialized form of physiotherapy that focuses on the vestibular system and aims to improve its function and reduce symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. 

The vestibular system consists of three parts: the semicircular canals, utricle and saccule (the organs that detect gravity), and the vestibulocochlear nerve (which sends information from these organs to your brain).

When you stand up or move quickly without warning (such as when you’re walking downstairs), your body has to adjust its position in order to stay upright. This process is called equilibrium; it relies on signals from these four parts working together in harmony so that you don’t fall over!

How Can Vestibular Physiotherapy Help You?

Vestibular physiotherapy is a treatment for dizziness, vertigo and balance issues. Vestibular rehabilitation can help in several ways:

  1. Reduce Dizziness and Vertigo Symptoms: Vestibular physiotherapy can help reduce symptoms of dizziness and vertigo by teaching the brain to adapt to changes in position and movement.
  2. Improve Balance and Coordination: Vestibular rehabilitation therapy can improve balance and coordination by strengthening the muscles, and improving the function of the vestibular system.
  3. Reduce Falls and the Risk of Falls: By improving balance and coordination, vestibular rehabiliation can reduce the risk of falls and improve overall safety.
  4. Improve Daily Activities and Quality of Life: By reducing symptoms and improving function, our vestibular physiotherapists can help you perform daily activities more comfortably and improve your quality of life.
  5. Reduce the Impact of Migraines: vestibular rehabilitation therapy can also help reduce the impact of migraines by addressing the underlying vestibular dysfunction and symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo that may be contributing to your migraines. 

The overall goal of vestibular rehabilitation is to teach your brain how to process incoming information from the inner ear (the part of your ear that controls balance). This helps reduce or eliminate symptoms like dizziness or vertigo.

Why Choose Our Clinic for Vestibular Physiotherapy?

If you’re considering vestibular physiotherapy, it’s essential to choose a clinic that specializes in this area. At our clinic, we have trained vestibular physiotherapists who has expertise in vestibular disorders. 

We offer individualized treatment plans that are tailored to your specific needs, using evidence-based techniques and exercise programs.

We provide a safe and comfortable environment for all our patients and are committed to helping you achieve your goals and improve your quality of life.

Our Vestibular Physiotherapists Esther & Dylan have undergone extensive evidence-based training on the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system, how to diagnose various vestibular dysfunctions, and how to develop individualized treatment plans for our patients. They is also trained on how to perform vestibular assessments to identify the underlying causes of balance and dizziness issues.

What Happens in a Vestibular Physiotherapy Session?

During the initial assessment, your vestibular physiotherapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your vestibular system to identify the underlying cause of your symptoms. This can include tests that will assess your balance, your reaction to different positions and your eye movements. Based on this evaluation, we will develop an individualized treatment plan consisting of exercises and techniques to address your specific needs.

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy techniques may include habituation exercises to teach your brain to adapt to changes in position and movement, gaze stabilization to improve eye control and reduce dizziness, balance exercises to improve stability and coordination, and canalith repositioning techniques to treat BPPV.

You can read more about the specific treatments and what they entail below:

Habituation Exercises

One of the most commonly prescribed treatments for vestibular disorders is habituation exercises. These exercises are designed to teach the brain how to ignore information from the inner ear so that it can focus on other sensory inputs like sight and touch instead. By gradually exposing you to stimuli that trigger their symptoms, habituation exercises can help them build up a tolerance to these triggers over time. This can lead to a reduction in symptoms and an improved ability to function in daily life.

Vestibular Physiotherapy - habituation exercise (1)
Habituation exercises can include walking whilst performing head turns

Gaze Stabilisation Exercises

Another common treatment for vestibular dysfunctions is gaze stabilisation exercises. These exercises are designed to help you regain control over your eye movements, which conditions like vertigo can disrupt. By teaching you how to maintain a stable gaze even when your head is moving, gaze stabilisation exercises can help reduce symptoms like dizziness and vertigo.

Vestibular Physiotherapy - Gaze stabalisation exercises
Gaze stabilisation exercises can include maintaining your gaze whilst moving your head

Balance Exercises

Balance exercises are another important component of vestibular disorder treatment. These exercises are specifically designed for people suffering from dizziness due to vertigo, and are intended to help improve their balance and reduce their risk of falling. By promoting better balance and stability, balance exercises can help you feel more confident and independent in your daily life.

Vestibular Physiotherapy - balance exercise
Example of a balance retraining exercise

Canalith Repositioning Techniques (CRT)

Canalith repositioning techniques (CRT) are a specialized treatment for a specific type of vestibular dysfunction known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). BPPV is caused by tiny calcium crystals that become dislodged in the inner ear, leading to symptoms like vertigo and dizziness. CRT involves a series of maneuvers designed to move these crystals back into their proper position, relieving symptoms and helping you overcome positional vertigo in the process.

Vestibular Physiotherapy - Canalith Repositioning Technique
Canalith repositioning procedures involve moving the head into a series of different positions

Home Exercise Programs

Finally, a home exercise program is vital part of the overall management of vestibular disorders in order to have a successful long-term ourcome. These programs typically include a combination of habituation, gaze stabilization, and balance exercises tailored to your specific needs and symptoms. By performing these exercises regularly at home, you can improve your symptoms and maintain your progress over time.

How Long Does It Take to See Results From Vestibular Rehabilitation?

The length of time it takes to see results from vestibular rehabilitation depends on the severity of your symptoms and how long they have been experienced. Some people report feeling better within just one or two sessions, while others may need more regular sessions over weeks and months.

Completion of the prescribed home exercise program in between sessions is also key to reinforcing the benefits of treatment. Consistency and adherence to the home exercise program can significantly impact the effectiveness of your treatment.

Can Vestibular Physiotherapy Help With Migraines?

You may be wondering if vestibular physiotherapy can help with migraines. The answer is yes. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy can reduce the symptoms of dizziness and balance problems associated with vestibular migraines. Also, treatment from a trained vestibular physiotherapist can improve eye movement control, posture, and anxiety associated with vestibular disorders, which can assist in reducing migraines.

What next?

Our expert vestibular physiotherapists Esther and Dylan understand the impact vertigo and dizziness can have on your daily life. At our clinic in Highgate, we customize treatments that focus on improving your balance and reducing vertigo symptoms.

We take a patient-focused approach, ensuring that we involve you in the decision-making process and encourage collaboration with our patients. Don’t let dizziness or vertigo hold you back, visit us and start your journey to improved quality of life today!

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