Vestibular Physiotherapy Vancouver

Vancouver Physiotherapy

Vestibular Physiotherapy 

Do you suffer from dizziness, vertigo or balance issues? Have you tried seeing a physiotherapist to manage these symptoms? Before answering that question let’s take a look at what vestibular dysfunction is and what vestibular physiotherapy is.

You are not alone!

Vestibular system disturbances are very common. Almost 40% of North Americans over the age of 40 have had experiences with vestibular dysfunction, while 80% aged 65 years or older have had experiences with dizziness, Benign Paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), or balance impairments (Physiopedia ). As one ages these dysfunctions become more likely which may result in falls leading to a multitude of further complications.

Signs and Symptoms of vestibular dysfunctions? 

Common signs may present as unwanted or uncontrolled eye movement, troubles with gaze stability during head movement, balance issues, nausea, dizziness and vertigo. More often than not dizziness, nausea and vertigo are what cause people to seek out help.

neck treatment by physio

What causes dizziness or vertigo and what are they?

Although sometimes confused as the same thing, dizziness and vertigo are different. Dizziness is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of different sensations such as the feeling of being disorientated or light-headed. Dizziness may be attributed to a number of things such as vision impairments, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disorders, vestibular dysfunctions and even neck musculoskeletal imbalance or dysfunctions. Vertigo, however, is a distinct dizziness caused by the illusion of the environment spinning or the sensation of moving in relation to the environment as if on a boat. For more detailed information on vertigo and the causes refer to this video:

What does Vestibular Physiotherapy entail?

The goal of vestibular physiotherapy is to mitigate or lessen the symptoms of dizziness or vertigo. In order to ascertain whether these symptoms are caused by BPPV a doctor or physiotherapist will perform a series of positional maneuvers. If these tests are positive and if the symptoms are caused by BPPV the physiotherapist will again perform a series of positional maneuvers as a treatment. The aim of this treatment is to reposition the contents of the inner ear canal which may be contributing to your symptoms. As a result some patients may experience immediate relief whereas others may continue experiencing similar symptoms. The physiotherapist will then prescribe habitual exercises to reduce the symptoms. In addition to BPPV, tightness or weakness in the musculature around the upper back and neck may also be a contributing factor to these symptoms. The physiotherapist will conduct an assessment of these structures to determine which may be causing your symptoms. In order to release or strengthen these structures, the physiotherapist will work with you to design the best treatment approach.

What Next?

If you have read this far and feel that this may be something you have dealt or been dealing with give us a call or book online with one our therapists! Ask for Shahab, Linda Warren or Alice and please let us know that the appointment is for vestibular issues.

Click here to book online today!