How vestibular rehab works

At the Sunshine, our physical therapists are specially trained in treating disorders of the vestibular system. Our vestibular rehab program is an exercise-based technique that is designed to decrease dizziness, help improve the ability to steady your vision and retrain parts of your postural control due to vestibular dysfunction.

What is the vestibular system?

The vestibular system is the portion of the inner ear and brain that helps control your balance and equilibrium. If damaged, the vestibular system can make you feel unbalanced – like you are suddenly spinning, tilting, or floating.

Causes & risk factors of vestibular disorders:

Vestibular disorders affect about 35% of adults over the age of 40 and account for 60 million doctor visits every year. Even as much as 5% (3.3 million) of children from ages 3-17 have a dizziness or balance problem.

Common disorders that can affect the function of the vestibular system are:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)-
  • Vestibular Neuritis
  • Vestibular Labyrinthitis
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Ototoxicity
  • Perilymph fistula
  • Acoustic Neuroma
  • Stroke (CVA)
  • CHI/TBI (Closed Head Injury / Traumatic Brain Injury)
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Symptoms of vestibular issues:

Symptoms for vestibular dysfunction can be brought about my many forms of pathology, and can be differentiated by their anatomic origin as either central (within the brain), or peripheral (within the vestibular apparatus in the inner ear). Symptoms of vestibular issues include:

  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Imbalance
  • Lightheadedness
  • Disequilibrium
  • Oscillopsia (visual changes while moving)
  • Nystagmus
  • Ocular tracking difficulty and eye fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Falls
  • Difficulty walking

Symptoms of a dysfunctional vestibular system can last a few minutes to a few hours or more and may come and go.