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Vestibular Rehabilitation in Owen Sound

Bayshore Physical Therapy provides vestibular rehabilitation to Owen Sound patients.

What Is a Vestibular Disorder?

The vestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and brain. It is responsible for maintaining balance, stability, and spatial orientation. Vestibular dysfunction is most commonly caused by a head injury, viral infection, or simply from aging. Vestibular disorders can also result from or be worsened by genetic or environmental conditions. 

  • Studies estimate as much as 35% of U.S adults aged 40 or older have experienced some kind of vestibular dysfunction.
  • Overall, vertigo from a vestibular problem accounts for 1/3 of all dizziness and vertigo symptoms reported to healthcare professionals.
  • Symptoms of chronic dizziness or imbalance can have profound impacts on a person’s ability to perform normal activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, and ambulating.

Diagnosed Disorders

Some include:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) 
  • Vestibular migraine
  • Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Ototoxicty
  • Ramsey Hunt syndrome

What Are the Symptoms?

They include:

  • Vertigo, such as spinning or whirling sensation
  • Dizziness, such as lightheadedness, faintness, rocking, or unsteadiness
  • These may be present while sitting still, in specific positions, or with movement
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue, anxiety, and depression
  • Trouble with focusing or tracking objects, blurred, or double vision
  • Poor tolerance to busy environments, such as crowds or stores
  • Hearing problems, such as hearing loss, muffled/distorted hearing, tinnitus (ringing, whooshing, buzzing)

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specialized form of therapy intended to alleviate problems caused by vestibular disorders. It is an exercise-based program designed to promote central nervous system re-training for inner ear deficits, and to reduce:

  • Vertigo 
  • Dizziness
  • Gaze instability
  • Imbalance
  • Falls

What Can I Expect from Treatment?

Vestibular rehabilitation starts with a comprehensive assessment that will include collecting the history to understand the severity and frequency of your symptoms, your triggers, as well as the impact your symptoms have on your life. The assessment will include different tests to objectively evaluate the symptoms. To determine the source of your dizziness or balance problem, the assessment includes: 

  • Evaluating your balance and gait
  • Motion sensitivity
  • Severity of vertigo
  • Thorough assessment of the visual and vestibular system
  • Cervical spine assessment
  • Neurological testing

Sometimes the tests can be fatiguing and can result in temporary unsteadiness. A customized exercise plan may be given to perform at home. Exercises may at first make symptoms worse, but will decrease over time.

Canalith Repositioning Procedure for BPPV

Benign paroxysnnal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a mechanical problem in the inner ear. Calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) become dislodged and migrate into one or more of the 3 fluid filled semicircular canals, where they are not supposed to be.
For patients with BPPV, the exercise methods described for VRT are not appropriate to resolve this type of vestibular disorder. Depending on the type of BPPV, different repositioning maneuvers can be performed to help resolve the spinning by guiding the crystals back to their normal location.


Bayshore Physical Therapy is ready to help with your vestibular disorder, so contact us today.

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