Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is an exercise-based specialized physiotherapeutic intervention designed to promote central nervous system compensation, an adaptation based on neural plasticity and motor learning principles.
VRT can help with a variety of vestibular problems, including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and the unilateral or bilateral vestibular hypofunction (reduced inner ear function on one or both sides) associated with Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuritis. Even individuals with long-term unresolved inner ear disorders. VRT can also help people with an acute or abrupt loss of vestibular function following surgery for vestibular problems. More recently VRT is being practiced in a range of central vestibular dysfunctions caused by various neurological disorders.
Goals of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy
By improving vestibular function and promoting mechanisms of central adaptation and compensation, VRT aims to do the following:
Decrease subjective sensations of dizziness
Improve stability during locomotion
Reduce overdependence on visual and somatosensory inputs
Improve neuromuscular coordination
Decrease anxiety and somatization due to vestibular disorientation
Effects of Spinal cor injury
There are many potential complications related to spinal cord injury that may require specific treatment. These complications include:
Urinary Tract Infections Or Urinary Incontinence (Inability To Control The Flow Of Urine),
Bowel Incontinence (Inability To Control Bowel Movements),
Infections In The Lungs (Pneumonia),
Chronic Pain, And
Vestibular habituation/adaptation exercises:
Specific movements or positions that provoke the patient's dizziness are provided and the patient is asked to repeat these movements until the brain habituates the response or adapts to the conflicting information. This process resolves the conflict between the brain and the ear.
The ear nerve has a connection that goes to the eye muscles and can affect the person's ability to maintain their gaze and focus. If dysfunction is identified in this mechanism, visual-motor exercises for gaze stabilization and eye-head coordination are included.
Canalith Repositioning Procedures for Benign Positional Vertigo:
A specific maneuver involves moving the patient's head in a sequence of positions for a certain time period in order to move the "ear rocks" or otoconia around the semicircular canals to reposition them into the proper place in the inner ear. This procedure is 95% effective in eliminating benign positional vertigo in 1-4 visits.
Balance retraining exercises:
Exercises designed to improve coordination of muscle responses as well as the organization of sensory information from eyes, ears and tactile/muscle receptors for balance control (measured by a computerized force plate).
Patients are typically seen on an outpatient basis once every 1-2 weeks and provided a specific daily home program that is upgraded as appropriate. This program addresses the specific problems and goals of the individual patient.
Balance is a feeling derived from being whole and complete; it's a sense of harmony. It is essential to maintaining quality in life and work
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