Dizziness & Vestibular

» Dizziness & Vestibular

Dizziness & Vestibular

Dizziness and Vestibular Rehab

  Dizziness has been described so many ways which highlights the complexities of what it means to be dizzy.  Some people describe dizziness as an illusion of movement or spinning (vertigo), lightheadedness, off balanced, unsteady, staggering, blurring of vision with head movements or many other adjectives.  

·         35% US adults aged 40 years and older have, or have had, vertigo or a balance disorder stemming from a problem in the inner ear

·         4% (8 million) of American adults report a chronic problem with balance

·         An additional 1.1% (2.4 million) report a chronic problem with dizziness alone

·         This is approximately 69 million Americans

  Your vestibular system, compromised of your eyes (visual system), your inner ear (vestibular apparatus and associated nerve), and proprioception (awareness of one’s body position) which give information to your brain and spinal cord so that you can adjust your eyes and body in reaction to your environment.  When this complex system declines or is impaired it can lead to significant consequences on quality of life.

  Consequences of vestibular disorders can lead to falls, injury and hospitalization.  However, there are several consequences people typically do not consider including decreasing social interactions and increasing isolation as well as decreasing functional status and ability to live independently. 



  Benign Positional Proximal Vertigo (BPPV) is a specific type of vestibular disorder for which physical therapy is very effective in its treatment.  In BPPV, people describe a feeling of spinning or an illusion of movement with head and positional changes.

  BPPV is:

·         Most common cause of vertigo in adults

·         Cause of 50% of all dizziness in adults >65 years old

·         Age of onset commonly between 50 and 70 years old

·         Associated with head trauma / concussion

  Our Physical Therapists will perform an assessment including detailed history of your symptoms and their pattern, medication use, what prior treatments you have, and relevant past medical history.  Once we understand you and your symptoms we will then select the appropriate tests to help us determine the cause of your symptoms and then provided an individualize home exercise program to meet your goals.



  There has been a lot of attention in the media recently about concussions and their impact on our children and professional athletes.  Less so do we hear about the concussions our adult population sustain after a stumble or fall. 

  A concussion is when the brain experiences an acceleration and then deceleration within the skull resulting in stretching of delicate tissues.  This damage results in the brains decreased capacity for daily processing which leaves it vulnerable.  Concussion symptoms can present hours, weeks, months, and sometimes years after the initial injury.  This delayed onset can lead to delayed treatment and additional risks to those that are still recovering. 

·         Concussions typically resolve within 7-10 days for adults and 30-45 days for adolescence

·         Loss of conscious occurs in less than 10% of cases and not indicator of severity

·         As estimated 40% of athletes return to activity sooner than current guidelines suggest

·         15-20% of individuals with concussion continue to experience persistent and disabling problems

  Given the wide variety of symptoms, functional deficits, and individual response to concussion is it important a suspected concussion patient is evaluated and treated with a team approach including your medical doctor and our skilled Physical Therapists.  Treatment will be tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient and return to prior level of function and activity.