Statistics show that over 90 million Americans ages 17 and older have experiences dizziness or have balance problems. Affecting about 30 percent of people over 65, imbalance is a common symptom of seniors and a leading cause of falls. Seventy percent of patients who have complaints of dizziness are prescribed Meclizine (Antivert). One of the drug's side effects is reduced reaction time, which can lead to falls. Meclizine and other medications that treat dizziness and disequilibrium symptoms actually hinder the natural vestibular compensation process.
Compared to medical therapy and general exercise for patients with chronic balance problems, reports indicate that only vestibular rehabilitation has been shown to improve balance function and performance. (www.balance-plus.com)
What is vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT)?
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is an exercise- based program designed to promote central nervous system compensation for inner ear deficits. It addresses balance, dizziness and overall fitness. We use various VRT exercise protocol targets to compensate for and adapt to the nervous system's response to these deficits.
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy addresses:
-BPPV- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
-Bilateral or unilateral vestibular dysfunctions
-Neurological disorders (stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis)
Individualized therapy programs:
An accurate patient diagnosis and assessment are critical to develop a successful and individualized rehabilitation program. The information helps to:
1. Quantify the degree of damage to peripheral vestibular structures and central vestibular pathways.
2. Evaluate the level of physiological and neurological compensation that may have already occurred.
3. Evaluate any visual and proprioception deficits.
Assessment of functional abilities such as gait/ walking, ambulation with head movement balance with altered sensory cues, static and dynamic balance are also performed.
What to expect?
If a patient only suffers from BPPV, a few visits can eliminate vertigo symptoms. Otherwise, a 90% success rate is achieved by patients who participate in our six- week VRT program.
Physical therapists' qualification
Our physical therapists hold master or doctorate degrees and are specially trained in treating vestibular disorders. We are committed to maintaining the highest standard of care.
If you, your family or friends experience any problems with dizziness, please contact us at (718)-698-3055.