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Keeping Your Balance Through Physical Therapy

Posted by Brian Spence on Sep 2, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Physical Therapy, PTA, Allied HealthThe sensation of dizziness can be mildly annoying or serious enough to limiting the daily activities of life. Dizziness and its more severe cousin, vertigo, also known as Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV) usually affect older patients, but can present in any age.

Some physical therapists offer Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, known as VRT, to help patients restore balance and diminish the effects of dizziness and vertigo.

Serious diagnoses such as brain tumors, cardiovascular issues and head injury can have symptoms of dizziness. Chronic migraine headaches, inner ear problems, and even some medications can produce the condition. There are cases of dizziness that appear for no apparent reason, (idiopathic BVP).

Dizziness is generally not serious, but is often a sign of a mechanical problem. The symptoms are worrisome: lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, and falling. Medications prescribed for BPV are helpful, but learning to move in ways that cope with the disorder is necessary for improvement. Patients can benefit from VRT.

A physician referral for VRT is the first step toward recovery. A specially trained physical therapist evaluates the patient and develops a unique treatment plan. The Cleveland Clinic recommends some examples of treatment modalities including:

  1. Vision stability training
  2. Posture training
  3. Balance retraining
  4. Walking
  5. Neck motion exercises
  6. General fitness exercises.

Described in the Harvard Health Letter, one of the most effective treatments is the Epley Maneuver. It involves a series of head movements and postures directed by a clinician, rotating the head and manipulating the patient into specific positions for prescribed periods of time.

Physical therapy is a rewarding specialty that addresses diverse physical problems. If you are interested in learning more about this and related fields, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.


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