Vestibular Rehabilitation: Balance and Dizziness
At Generation Care, we have a team of therapists who specialize in vestibular and balance rehabilitation. There are many causes of dizziness and imbalance. Our therapists will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the specific source of your problem.
One of the most common causes of dizziness is a condition called BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This dizziness usually starts first thing in the morning when you roll over to get out of bed or when you lie down at night. You may also feel dizzy when you tip your head to look up toward the ceiling or when you bend over. You’ll feel mild to severe dizziness that lasts less than 30 seconds. This specific problem is caused by misplaced crystals (otoconia) in the inner ear. It is extremely helpful to seek treatment from a vestibular therapist. At Generation Care, we use Frenzel lenses, which are specialized goggles connected to a computer screen. These goggles help us to identify specifically which ear is involved and which canal your crystals are in. Next, we move the head in specific, gentle sequences to put the crystals back where they belong. Sometimes, one treatment is all that is needed to completely clear your dizziness.
Dizziness can also be caused by other conditions such as an inner ear infection, migraine, Meniere’s disease, head injury or stroke, to name a few. Our therapists are well trained at differential diagnosis and we will work closely with your doctor to determine the source of your dizziness. Following the assessment, the therapist will work with you to establish a plan of care which may include exercises combining eye and head movements to retrain the brain quickly and challenging balance and walking exercises.
Generation Care therapists also specialize in treating balance impairments. Balance conditions can be treated by systematically evaluating the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for falling, and addressing each individually. Examples include posture, lower extremity strength and flexibility, postural recovery strategies, sensory orientation (the systems we use to maintain our balance), shoes and foot issues, fear of falling, and other factors. An individualized balance exercise program and treatment can result in a significant improvement in your balance and reduce falls.
Generation Care has been a part of a 4 year Michigan Public Health Initiative research program, demonstrating the short and long term effects of fall prevention interventions with older adults.
Follow this link to the Vestibular Disorders Association for more information about dizziness. This site has extensive information about the cause of dizziness, how the balance system works, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and types of vestibular disorders. http://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder
Meet our Vestibular Specialty Team:
- Stephanie Osborn, DPT, OSC – Team Leader
- Jennifer Wolffis, MSPT
- Cristie Anderson, MSPT
- Abby Hilgendorf, DPT
- Joan Klaasen, PT
- Tracy Lee, MSPT
- Aleece Passow, DPT