- Dizziness, imbalance and vertigo affect 35% of adults over the age of 40
- Vertigo (sensation of spinning) is the primary sign of peripheral vestibular dysfunction (dysfunction of the balance organs of inner ear).
- Imbalance accompanied by special disorientation can result from central vestibular decompensation.
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) is the most frequent cause of vertigo.
- Vestibular problems can result from head injury, whiplash, infection, disease, or aging.
Vestibular rehabilitation involves a thorough assessment of medical history, oculomotor screening (eye-head coordination), posture, balance, gait, and manoeuvres using an infrared camera to assess the presence and direction of nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movements).
Individualized treatment may include particle repositioning manoeuvres for resolution of BPPV symptoms, and/or exercise to retrain the brain to coordinate head and body movements with eye movements, as well as static and dynamic balance activities.
A positive response to treatment can be immediate, as in the case of an acute BPPV, but it may take several weeks for chronic or central problems to improve or resolve
Experienced physiotherapists are well trained to assess and treat vestibular disorders.