Vestibular/Concussion

Vestibular Rehabilitation

What is a vestibular disorder?

Your vestibular system rests in your inner ear and works with your eyes and sensory system to communicate with your brain and help you balance. An issue with this system is called a vestibular disorder.

What are symptoms of a vestibular disorder?

  • Dizziness or vertigo (spinning sensation)
  • Dizziness with movements:
    • Rolling Over in Bed
    • Turning Your Head Quickly
    • Bending Over
    • Looking up or Down
    • Walking
  • Unsteadiness/Balance Problems (Falls)
  • Blurry Vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Neck Pain

What are common disorders?

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) - calcium stones in the inner ear, causing dizziness with certain movements and positions
  • Vestibular Labyrinthitis/Neuritis - inflammation of the inner ear or nerve to the inner ear
  • Ménières - too much pressure/fluid in the inner ear
  • Toxicity from certain medications
  • Vestibular Migraine - dizziness in people with a history of migraine-like symptoms
  • Unilateral Vestibular Dysfunction - an issue with your inner ear on one side
  • Cervicogenic Dizziness - dizziness from the neck
  • Age-related Balance Deficits
  • Oculomotor (Visual) Dysfunction

What is vestibular rehabilitation and how can physical therapy help?

Vestibular rehabilitation works to strengthen the communication between your eyes, inner ear, sensory system and your brain to allow you to tolerate daily activities.

Concussion Rehabilitation:

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a forceful movement or direct hit to the head, resulting in problems with brain function, including memory, balance, vision, and concentration.

What are common symptoms of concussion?

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or Vertigo
  • Fogginess
  • Vision Changes
  • Balance Issues
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Light/Sound Sensitivity
  • Mood changes
  • Neck Pain

What is concussion rehabilitation and how can physical therapy help?

Concussion rehabilitation involves exercises that improve brain function by retraining your vision, balance, and vestibular system to allow you to return to your daily activities, including return to sport.

What can I expect to do in vestibular and concussion rehabilitation?

After a thorough evaluation, your physical therapist will create a tailored rehabilitation program to address your individual needs. Vestibular and concussion rehabilitation often overlap. Treatment may include exercises such as specific head and eye movements to improve your gaze stability (ability to focus on an object while your head is moving or track moving objects), balance retraining, guided maneuvers to correct inner ear issues, and specific exercises to decrease your symptoms with movements that make you dizzy. This program, along with customized progressive exercise, will facilitate return to your specific daily, recreational, and sporting activities.