Many of us seek physical therapy services to address pain and or restore function following surgeries, sports injuries or excessive strains sustained in our daily living activities. Physical therapists through proper movement therapy and skilled manual therapy techniques treat these problems and restore function and quality of life. Also, with high quality physical therapy care the ill effects of excessive medication administration and surgical interventions are often times avoided or minimized.
General awareness of physical therapy interventions include mobilizations,stretching, strengthening exercises, manipulations, reeducation of neuromuscular system and home exercise program.However, the role of physical therapy to cure conditions that come from a very tiny portion of our body, without joints or muscles is less known. Though small in size, this muscleless, jointless part of our body when affected, disables the rest of body disturbing it’s balance, function and quality of life. This tiny yet pivotal part of our body is our Vestibular System.
The Vestibular system is an area located inside our inner ear, responsible for the sensation of balance and stabilization of our gaze(vision). Conditions that affect this system will cause sensations of disequilibrium and dizziness disrupting daily routines and prevent “living the life to the fullest”. When the vestibular system is compromised we wake up in the morning feeling unsteady on our feet, experience sensations of lightheadedness, nausea and look for anything to hold on, to make a step or even to stand up.
The very feeling of being off balance and unsteady on our feet makes us fearful, insecure, less productive, and eventually homebound. Confined to the four walls of their homes with limited function sufferers feel socially and physically disabled. To top it all, symptoms of fatigue, stress, depression and anxiety follow which affects our mental health .
“What happened to me?” We often ask ourselves,…“I was such an active person and now I missed my gym for a month”. …..“I cannot enjoy my favorite food because it makes me nauseous”….“I’m falling over and people think I am intoxicated”,……. “I was always a good driver and now I cannot drive”. These plights are often heard by physicians, therapists and family members who feel helpless and hopeless for their loved ones.
Well, for all those who feel at the end of the road with such symptoms there’s hope at Physical therapy and Performance Center (PTPC). Here at PTPC our board certified therapists conduct treatments that address vestibular dysfunction and stimulate its function. Through physical therapist controlled corrective techniques symptoms of dizziness and imbalance are alleviated .
Movements or positions that precipitated symptoms at the start of therapy, in a span of few visits would begin to feel ‘normal’ again. The amazing recovery from the debilitating symptoms would have the brain craving for more at which point exercises are progressed.
As a clinician certified in the treatment of vestibular disorders, I have come across its different types which are to be addressed and managed differently though often times sadly get generalized inexperienced clinicians. Through years of experience and skilled diagnostic techniques I establish a invidualized treatment plan of care which is coordinated with referring physician to bring success and satisfaction to the suffering patient. It’s call of the patient’s physician to refer the suffering patient to the Vestibular therapist for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, care begins and ends with anti dizziness pills leaving patients never the same. That being said, there are fewer physicians who recognize the power of Vestibular rehabilitation and refer patients for vestibular rehab to achieve their fullest.
My upcoming blog will give more information about the most common vestibular disorders. For those who would like to help others sharing your stories and experiences please feel free to do the same. Those who would like to discuss their concerns in private, kindly call our facility for queries and schedule a free screening to see your potential to conquer dizziness through vestibular rehabilitation.