Vertigo and Vestibular Rehabilitation
Our physiotherapists will screen for vestibular conditions that can be responsible for symptoms of dizziness, nausea, difficulty with gaze stability (often with reading/phone use, especially in the car/plane or while walking), involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) or vertigo. Vertigo is a specific kind of dizziness defined as the illusion of the movement occurring in the environment (often described as the room spinning), while dizziness usually refers to a person feeling off-balance/light-headed or disorientated. As there are many causes of dizziness other than the vestibular system, including the cardiovascular system, neurological dysfunction, and visual dysfunction, we will do a thorough history and then a series of assessments to determine whether the vestibular system is contributing to your symptoms. If we do not think the primary contribution is the vestibular system, we will ensure an appropriate referral is made. Vestibular system disorders are often seen with head trauma (eg: whiplash, concussion), in older individuals, vestibular neuritis (infection), Meniere’s disease or those that have had direct damage through pressure trauma to the ear, acoustic neuroma or ototoxicity. Once we assess your condition, we will prescribe exercises that are specific to your deficit (these may involve vision exercises, vision and head movements, balance and much more) and that can easily be performed at home.
The most common cause of vertigo is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), which is often provoked up looking up, lying down flat quickly, bending forward and rolling in bed. It is a biomechanical problem that is assessed in the clinic, and if confirmed to be BPPV, can often be treated in 1-3 sessions.
We recommend that you bring a friend or family member with you on your first session, as your symptoms will be provoked during the assessment, which can make driving difficult.