Physiotherapists use vestibular therapy techniques to treat balance disorders originating within the inner ear. Don’t let the idea of rehabilitation exercises put you off, it is nothing like pumping weights in the gym to bulk up and improve strength. Vestibular rehabilitation is noninvasive, meaning no water is injected into the ear canal, like with caloric testing. The aim is to restore the communication between the sensory information received from the left and right vestibular systems. When the sensory information “makes sense” to the body you will feel balanced and stable.
If you have BPPV, where crystals are moving within the semicircular canals within your inner ear, our physiotherapist uses the correct maneuver to reposition the crystals by moving them out of the semicircular canal (canalithiasis) or remove the crystals if they adhered to the cupula (cupulolithiasis). We will guide you through the right sequence of movements no more than three times during a single treatment.
Gaze stabilization exercises
To enhance the accuracy of interpretation of sensory information received from your inner ear and eyes, we use gaze stability exercises. Doing these exercises the head and eyes are forced to move in opposite directions while you keep a target in focus. These exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing or balancing on an unstable surface or one leg. We work within your ability and ensure that you know how to do this safely at home.
After a vertigo attack, you may feel hesitant to turn in bed, look up to rinse your head, or bend down to pick something up from the floor. The goal of habituation exercises is to reduce dizziness through repeated exposure to specific movements or visual stimuli. Habituation exercises make you more comfortable with these movements within a safe environment.
We need adequate balance to move around safely and navigate obstacles like stairs, sidewalks, and uneven surfaces. Balance training requires patience and focus. Standing on one leg or even closing your eyes may be included during this phase of your rehabilitation.