Types of therapy
Following proper medical evaluation, neurodiagnostic testing, and a diagnosis there are many avenues for treatment. The good news is that most conditions will not require medical or surgical treatment. The most common form of managing chronic dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance is through therapy. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is recognized as the gold standard of care for many forms of dizziness and even concussion. The neurodiagnostic testing will indicate which therapy type is best for you. Often, this will include the use of several of the therapy protocols. Regardless of the type of therapies used, the goal is always to have the patient be able to return to their normal activities and active lifestyle.
There are 4 general categories of therapy.
Self Directed Home-based Exercises
Home based therapy which the patient does on his own. Each program is individually and especially designed for the patient based on test results and the situations which bring on symptoms. This approach is most commonly used with patients that do not require supervision during exercise. Best results occur when the patient spends 20-30 minutes per session two to three times a day. Most patients report a significant reduction in their symptoms within a two to four week time span.
For patients who have a loss of balance, unsteadiness or loss of surefootedness. Most of these patients do not report dizziness or motion intolerance. We emphasize practical solutions to the common problems of difficulty getting around in the dark, walking on uneven surfaces and moving unencumbered on ramps or stairs. Fall prevention, movement coordination, and improved participation in everyday activities are all high priorities of the program.
Designed for the patients whose symptoms may be severe and who requires supervision during exercise. Therapy sessions include the use of vestibular therapy equipment which most people enjoy. For older patients, there is an emphasis on fall prevention. Typically the patient participates in two or three 60 minute sessions per week, with an average of 8-12 sessions. As the patient progresses, home exercises are added to accelerate the results. Virtual reality is now available to provide real world experiences and activities in the safety of the clinic with therapist supervision.
Canalith Repositioning/Liberatory Maneuver
Designed for an inner ear condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). This condition occurs when the salt-like crystals in the inner ear called otoconia become dislodged and float within the canals of the vestibular system. Treatment includes one or two 20 minute visits as the crystals are gently repositioned.