What is Vestibular Rehab? Everything you need to know.

Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercise-based program used to treat issues with dizziness and imbalance. Dizziness is most commonly found in patients aged 75 and older; however, it can occur in patients of any age. Patients referred for Vestibular Rehab generally suffer from vertigo, imbalance, dizziness, and migraines. Other less common reasons for referral can be patients that may have suffered from brain injuries, strokes, or frequent falls.

Did you know:

  • Each year more than 10 million patients visit physicians due to dizziness.
  • Vertigo, imbalance, and dizziness occur in 40% of people over 40.

Vestibular disorders can appear from out of nowhere or stem from factors such as trauma (car accidents, falls, etc.), inner ear infections, aging, medications, tumours, or other brain-related issues, or as symptoms of other diseases/conditions.

Vestibular issues can also create other complications, like lack of concentration, decreased activity, restricted movement, reclusiveness, anxiety, and depression.

man with post concussion headache
woman with post concussion headache

Common symptoms that Vestibular Rehab can treat are:

  • Neck tightness, stiffness, or pain
  • Headaches
  • Imbalance
  • Dizziness or blurry vision with head movements
  • Frequent falls
  • Vertigo
  • A general dizzy or foggy-headed feeling

What can you expect during a Vestibular Rehab session?

A proper vestibular rehab assessment can be lengthy but must be thorough.

You can expect the following:

  • Discussion about the history and nature of your symptoms
  • Screening for a more severe cause of dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Evaluation of eye movements assisted by infrared video-analysis
  • Testing for sensitivity to motion or position change
  • Evaluation of stationary and moving balance
  • Testing other areas that could be contributing, like neck problems or blood-pressure

Following the assessment, a wide variety of treatment options are available. The treatments can include eye exercises, training to reduce sensitivity, balance challenges, and strategies for dealing with cognitive and psychological impacts.

The balance retraining done as part of vestibular rehab is also helpful for clients who may not have a vestibular problem but may have orthopedic, sensory, or other brain-related disorders affecting their equilibrium.

Why is Vestibular Rehab still not widely known?

Many people with the symptoms mentioned above head to their doctor with dizziness and balance issues. Getting to the root cause can be challenging, and many doctors take a “wait and see” approach or state that nothing can be done.

Some doctors, however, have specialized training in vestibular rehabilitation and know that there is more to be considered.

A typical approach may be to avoid the things that trigger dizziness, which may slow recovery.

Through research, clinical practice guidelines, and specialist position statements, it is clear that Vestibular Rehab is a viable and beneficial treatment option. Unfortunately, not enough people get informed of its benefits.

Now that you know the vestibular system, you can be more appreciative and aware when issues start to present themselves. Vestibular rehab should be your go-to solution if you experience the symptoms described here.

Book an Appointment Today!

If you have any additional questions about vestibular rehab, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Please take the opportunity to book an appointment with one of Innovation Physical Therapy’s experienced physiotherapists by calling one of our five clinics throughout Edmonton, including RiverbendBelvedereNamaoor our newest clinic in Southgate Centre.

If you have any further questions about neck fatigue or any other issues, contact Innovation Physical Therapy today. We’re here to help you, “Love Getting Better!”