How can physical therapists help people with vestibular disorders?

Vestibular Disorder

Have you ever had an inner ear infection that made you feel woozy and unstable? If you have, then you’ve also had a temporary vestibular disorder. 

This category of conditions is also known as vestibular dysfunction. These conditions affect the vestibular system in your inner ear. Problems with this system can lead to dizziness, vertigo and an increased risk of falling. It’s estimated that about 69 million Americans have experienced vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives. 

Physical therapy is one type of medical care that can help treat vestibular disorders. There are many ways that it can help you if you have such a condition. 

Three ways physical therapy can help people with a vestibular disorder: 

  1. Repositioning otolithsOtoliths are hard pieces of calcium carbonate that occur naturally in your inner ear. They can break loose from their normal position and float into other parts of your inner ear. 

A condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the result. Physical therapists can use a technique called canalith repositioning to address free-floating otoliths and reduce BPPV symptoms. 

  1. Stabilizing your gaze — Many people aren’t aware that the vestibular system also helps stabilize their vision. At least, they aren’t until they develop vestibular dysfunction. When that happens, moving your head in certain ways can cause your vision to swim. Physical therapists can show you how to perform specific exercises that can help improve the stability of your gaze. 
  1. Decreasing fall risk — Having trouble stabilizing your gaze and feeling like the room is spinning around you is a recipe for falling down. These falls can cause serious injuries like fractures and concussions. 

Physical therapists can use balance training exercises to help you decrease your fall risk. One study reports that balance training helped reduce falls that cause serious injuries in seniors by 43%. 

Border TS offers effective care for vestibular disorders

Are you suffering from an acute or chronic vestibular disorder? Our Border Therapy Services team offers vestibular rehab services that can help. We can do a free screening on you to determine what is causing your vestibular dysfunction. 

Our physical therapists will then create an individualized therapy plan for you. This plan will be designed to help improve your symptoms and increase your stability. You can also sign up for at-home care and virtual therapy sessions with us, and these sessions can help you treat vestibular issues without leaving your home. 

Contact our team today for more information about our vestibular rehab services or to schedule an initial appointment and begin addressing your issue.