Vestibular Therapy in Rockville, MD
Vestibular therapy uses physical therapy principles to treat and improve symptoms like dizziness and vertigo, visual issues, balance problems, and frequent falls. So, if you have been assessed and diagnosed with a vestibular condition, your doctor may have suggested vestibular therapy. If you have not yet been diagnosed, you can work with one of our physical therapists in Rockville to help with common symptoms like:
- Vertigo (a sense of spinning)
- Nausea, vomiting, fatigue
- Neck tightness, pain and/or stiffness
- Difficulty walking
- Frequent falling
- Vision issues like double vision, difficulty focusing, shaky vision with head movements, low tolerance for screen time
- Brain fog, mild memory issues, difficulty concentrating
Vestibular Therapy in Rockville After an Injury
After your vestibular system is injured, your central nervous system can compensate some for the reduced function of your inner ears. Basically, with the appropriate vestibular therapy, your brain manages by relying more on information from other systems in your body. You can develop vestibular compensation so your symptoms are alleviated and you can return to normal function.
Patients find Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy in Rockville help vestibular conditions like:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Cervicogenic Dizziness
- Mal de Debarquement (MdDS)
- Vestibular deconditioning from aging or inactivity
- Meniere’s Disease
- Neurological Conditions (like stroke, concussion, traumatic brain injury)
- Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS)
- Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)
- Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction (UVH)
- Vestibular Neuritis/Labyrinthitis
- Vestibular Migraine
and many other vestibular conditions.
How Does the Vestibular System Work?
Vestibular organs in the inner ears work as sensors measuring how your head rotates and tilts, forward and backward, and up and down. See the many loops in these semi-circular canals?
Then, the vestibular nerve connects your inner ear to your brain. These nerves transmit the information from your inner ears to your brain to process.
This sensitive vestibular system lets you detect motion and your head position. That way, you react properly when you sense changes. So, the three parts of your vestibular system all need to work together. These three parts are:
- Your inner ear organs in each ear
- Vestibular centres in your brain
- Peripheral vestibular nerves
Your brain also processes backup information from your other senses too. What you see and hear and touch, your joints, muscles and tendons all over your body, and even memories and emotions play a role. Then, your vestibular system sends out targeted nerve impulses to muscles in your limbs, eyes, and trunk. So your body knows how to react. That’s why, if your vestibular system isn’t working well, you might fall, bump into things, or feel dizzy.
How Does Vestibular Therapy at Forever Fit Physical Therapy in Rockville Work?
The first step is always a thorough assessment. Even if you already have a diagnosis, your physical therapist at Forever Fit will start with a comprehensive examination. They consider the details of your symptoms, when they started, how your condition has progressed, and your medical history. The medical evaluation involves:
- Reflex tests to check your central nervous system
- Cranial nerve tests to check specific brain-based functions
- Cervical tests to assess your joint, muscle function and blood flow in your neck
- Tests to check your visual oculomotor function
- Balance tests
- Gait assessment which checks both walking and general mobility
- Positional testing
- Tests to view and record reflexive eye movements (nystagmus)
Then, your physical therapist will take the findings from your assessment and first determine if vestibular therapy is an appropriate treatment for you. If it is not, they will recommend another course of treatment. If vestibular therapy could help your condition, your physical therapist will go over a plan to improve your deficits specifically identified in your assessment. This will help improve your symptoms and help you function better every day.
Vestibular Therapy Exercises in Rockville
Frequently, vestibular therapy with a physical therapist involves manual head manoeuvres and then a program of progressive exercises. Specialized vestibular therapy exercises are easy to learn from your physical therapist at Forever Fit Physical Therapy in Rockville. The most critical factor for your success in your treatment is you. You will need to dedicate yourself to spending time outside of the clinic doing these exercises, usually 2 or 3 times a day. Not difficult, but they do require a lot of consistency for you to achieve success. The most successful patients set up a regular schedule to incorporate the exercises into their daily routine.
Sometimes, patients notice that vestibular therapy exercises temporarily increase some symptoms. Usually, this means you are doing your exercises right, which stimulates your vestibular system to help it learn to compensate. But with consistency in performing the exercises, your symptoms decrease, so they become more manageable and often completely resolve. This is a process much like exercising any other part of your body. You start with basic exercises and work your way up until you get the results you want.
Is Vestibular Therapy at Forever Fit Physical Therapy in Rockville Right for Me?
Vestibular Physiotherapy is usually helpful if you suffer from one or more of the symptoms listed above. But there are other reasons you could feel dizzy that are not caused by your vestibular system. This is why your physical therapist at Forever Fit Physical Therapy in Rockville completes a full assessment. Then this examination determines whether or not your symptoms have a vestibular cause that will benefit from vestibular therapy.
How Long Before I Feel Better?
Recovery time varies a lot with vestibular therapy. Some patients recover with just a couple of visits, while others need regular treatments to manage their chronic condition. Most patients at Forever Fit Physical Therapy in Rockville have appointments once per week or less, for 1 to 3 months. Of course, this depends on your diagnosis, how severe your symptoms are, and how well you respond to therapy.
The most critical factor in the effectiveness of the exercise programs is your willingness to follow the schedule set out by your physical therapist. Your physical therapist develops a custom exercise program specific to your condition. But the most common reason recovery is delayed is from inconsistently performing the prescribed exercises.
Vestibular therapy is life-changing for many patients by eliminating fall risks and bringing back a sense of wellbeing. So, call Forever Fit Physical Therapy in Rockville today for your assessment to see if vestibular therapy is right for you.