Balance Physical Therapy: A Holistic Approach to Treating Vertigo, Dizziness and Imbalance Disorders
By: Dr. Abe Kopolovich, DPT, MBA, (JD-in progress) Therapy-In-Motion, PC
Vertigo, dizziness and imbalance disorders can be frustrating and debilitating conditions that impact daily life. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including inner ear problems, neurological conditions, and medication side effects.
Balance Physical Therapy, also known as balance therapy, has emerged as an effective approach for managing these ailments. Alongside dizziness remedies and solutions for Meniere’s disease disability, this form of physical therapy addresses the root causes of vertigo and imbalance. Keep reading to know how balance therapy can be an effective solution.
Let’s Understand: What Is Vertigo?
Vertigo is defined as a hallucination of movement. Most often this is a spinning sensation, but it can also be to-and-fro. Vertigo almost always originates somewhere in the vestibular (balance) system; sometimes it comes from the balance canals of the inner ear, other times in the nerves or the brain.
Common clinical causes of vertigo are Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis, and vestibular migraine.
How Can Balance Physical Therapy Help?
Balance Physical Therapy has been instrumental in helping patients recover from vestibular impairment. It utilizes a combination of vestibular rehabilitation, manual therapy, and other techniques to improve the patient’s overall balance and function. Vestibular physical therapists are specially trained to address these issues and provide customized treatment plans.
Balance therapy is appropriate for patients who have persistent imbalance after recovering from vertigo, patients with vertigo that is induced by certain positions such as BPPV, patients with bilateral loss of balance function, patients recovering from acoustic neuroma or inner ear surgery, and patients with limb weakness, diabetes, or other problems that prevent them from compensating from loss of balance.
How Does Balance Physical Therapy Work?
Balance therapy should be administered by a physical therapist who is experienced in the treatment of balance disorders. Patients are fully assessed as to what deficits they have, and the treatment program is individualized. The components of therapy include:
- Sensory substitution, using vision and limb sensation to help replace the lost balance function
- Habituation, using repetitive movements to help stimulate the balance system to recover
- Balance retraining, using gait and balance exercises to help regain stability and prevent falling
What Exercises Should I Do to Treat Vertigo and Imbalance Disorders?
Vestibular rehabilitation exercises: These are specific exercises that target the vestibular system to improve balance and reduce dizziness. These exercises may involve head movements, eye movements, and body movements, and are designed to gradually improve the patient’s ability to tolerate movement and reduce symptoms of dizziness.
Gait and balance training: These exercises focus on improving the patient’s ability to walk and maintain balance. They may involve standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe, or performing other activities that challenge balance and stability.
Manual therapy: This involves hands-on techniques that are applied to the neck or other areas of the body to improve mobility and reduce pain. Manual therapy may be particularly helpful for patients with musculoskeletal issues that are contributing to their balance problems.
Mind-body techniques: These techniques, such as tai chi or yoga, can help improve balance and reduce symptoms of dizziness and vertigo by improving body awareness and balance.
Benefits of Balance Physical Therapy
Balance therapy has been found by field experts to be a safe and non-invasive treatment option for different demographics, with few reported adverse effects. If you search for “balance therapy near me”, you can easily find lots of local vestibular physical therapists.
In addition to improving physical function, Balance Physical Therapy can also have a positive impact on mental health and quality of life. Patients who undergo balance therapy often report reduced anxiety and depression, improved confidence and self-esteem, and an overall sense of well-being.
At Therapy-In-Motion, our Center for Hearing and Balance is a premier referral center for vertigo, labyrinthitis home treatment and other imbalance disorders. Our experts help detect the underlying cause of the condition and personalize a treatment solution for each patient.
Contact us to get a personalized, in-home assessment now with Dr. Abe, our specialist!