vestibular rehab

Vestibular Rehab

What is the Vestibular System?

The Vestibular System, located in the inner ear, is an important component of our balance system that the brain uses to maintain balance. The combination of the Visual System, Vestibular system and Somatosensory system helps the brain compute where the body is in space and how it is moving. A problem in the Vestibular system commonly causes dizziness, lightheadedness and Vertigo.

What is the treatment for vestibular issues?

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is an exercise / movement-based treatment program designed to promote vestibular adaptation and substitution. The goals of VRT are:

  1. to enhance gaze stability,
  2. to enhance postural stability,
  3. to improve vertigo, and
  4. to improve activities of daily living.

 

VRT facilitates vestibular recovery mechanisms: vestibular adaptation, substitution by the other eye-movement systems, substitution by vision, somatosensory cues, other postural strategies, and habituation. The key exercises for VRT are head-eye movements with various body postures and activities, and maintaining balance with a reduced support base with various orientations of the head and trunk, while performing various upper-extremity tasks, repeating the movements provoking vertigo, and exposing patients gradually to various sensory and motor environments. VRT is indicated for any stable but poorly compensated vestibular lesion, regardless of the patient’s age, the cause, and symptom duration and intensity.

Sources
  • Byung, Hyun et al: J Clin Neurol. 2011 Dec; 7(4): 184–196

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