With the advancement in medical technology, various treatments are designed that helps in treating vestibular disorders. They not only disrupt one’s life but make it difficult for a person to accomplish daily tasks. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is an effective treatment for treating vestibular disorders that further leads to vertigo, dizziness or loss of balance. You must be thinking of what are vestibular disorders? Inflammation or injury in the inner ear or vestibular nerve that is responsible for sending signals to the brain from the inner ear for the body to function properly. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy has proved to be an effective treatment that helps in alleviating symptoms of vestibular disorders. Vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbance, and imbalance issues are some of the common symptoms that occur due to vestibular disorder. It impacts the quality of life of a person while creating anxiety as they may experience sudden bouts of vertigo dizziness all of a sudden anywhere anytime. The recurring vertigo spells make a person feel weak with a reduction in stamina and decreased muscle strength. An expert neurologist will diagnose the underlying condition and would suggest some vestibular rehabilitation exercises to treat vestibular disorders. Customized Vestibular rehabilitation exercises are designed to strengthen the balance system of the patient after understanding the requirements of the patients.

What is vestibular rehabilitation therapy?

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy involves a series of exercises that are designed as per individual requirements to mitigate both the primary & secondary problems caused due to vestibular disorders. The vestibular exercise program is designed to help in reducing gaze stabilization, vertigo spells, sensory reorganization, desensitization and development of alternate compensatory pathways. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises help to alleviate sudden bouts of dizziness and increase the stability of a person. Improving vision stability and reducing the risk of falling are the other cons of undergoing vestibular rehabilitation therapy which helps the person to lead a happy active life. Vestibular rehabilitation programs are customized as per individual needs understanding the patient’s medical history and depending on the severity of the condition. Many people who experience vestibular disorder may even have permanent damage, as the restoration of the vestibular function is quite small.
Patients suffering from vestibular system damage can return to proper functioning through compensation. It allows the brain to respond and use other sensory organs as a substitute for the damaged vestibular system. A healthy nervous system helps in early recovery of the patient through compensation. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy helps in the recovery of the patients by promoting compensation which allows them to lead a normal daily life and accomplish daily chores.
An expert neurologist will work on designing a vestibular rehabilitation exercise program suiting the requirement of the patient, after diagnosing the problem related to a vestibular disorder. The vestibular therapy will only show effective results when right vestibular rehabilitation exercises are used to treat the right vestibular disorder. There are three types of vestibular rehabilitation exercises that are Habituation, Gaze Stabilization & Balance Training that are prescribed by doctors suiting the requirement of the patient.

Vestibular rehabilitation exercises for treating vertigo and balance disorders

1. Habituation exercises

Some people complain about the sudden bouts of dizziness when they move around which can even prove to be life-threatening conditions as one may feel dizzy while crossing the road or driving a vehicle.
Habituation exercises are suggested to the patients who are experiencing sudden bouts of dizziness frequently. A person may experience dizziness symptoms due to self-motion or because of visual stimuli.
Neurologist suggests Habituation exercise as vestibular therapy to the patients who complain of dizziness due to changes in the position of the head or quick movements, which make it difficult for them to live with such a condition. Habituation exercise can prove to be effective for patients who experience dizzy spells in visually stimulating environments, like shopping malls, crowded restaurants & grocery stores. Dizziness symptoms that are not triggered due to head motion or visual stimuli cannot be treated well with Habituation exercises. Following the exercise regime regularly as guided by the therapist will reduce the intensity of dizziness in the patient and overtime brain will learn to bypass the abnormal signals they receive.

2. Gaze Stabilization

Several patients complain about a disturbance or imbalance in the vision due to vestibular disorders. A blurry or unclear vision makes it very difficult to carry out day to day activities. Vision is the most important and valuable sensory organs that one relies on completely. Gaze stabilization exercises are designed to improve eye movements to get a clear vision during head movement. There are two types of eye and head exercises, your neurologist would suggest which to use after diagnosing the type of vestibular disorder and the severity of the condition. In one exercise patients repeatedly move their heads back and forth or up and down for a couple of minutes. Whereas another type of gaze stability exercise is designed to use vision as a substitute for the damaged vestibular system.

3. Balance training

As the name suggests balance training exercises are designed for patients who feel unsteady or experience a loss of balance or equilibrium due to vestibular disorders. Your doctor will suggest you balance training exercise if you are experiencing difficulty in maintaining balance as they are used to improve the steadiness which makes it easy for a person to carry daily activities successfully. Balance exercises are designed as per the patient’s specific needs and should be safe enough for patients to perform it without the risk of falling.

If patients are diagnosed with BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) then the above-mentioned exercise is not up to the mark. After the clinical diagnosis of BPPV vertigo, your doctor would suggest certain repositioning maneuvers like Epley maneuver, Semont Maneuver, Brandt-Daroff exercise, etc. to treat the same. Habituation exercises and balance exercises can prove to be an effective measure for treating patients who experience dizziness after BPPV has been successfully treated.
A customized vestibular exercise plan is designed after diagnosing the underlying condition of the patient to show effective results within a shorter time duration.

Author's Bio: 

Abhinav is a social media marketing manager and a personal healthcare blogger who has written a couple of blogs on health care and health benefits that are liked by many. He keeps herself updated with the latest in the world of social media and imparts her knowledge with her followers through her health care blogs. Sharing her views on health care remedies, an effective diet to stay fit and healthy and following a regime for a healthy lifestyle are some of the topics that hold her interest. He loves to read and travel and share her piece of knowledge with her experiences.