How Common is this?
An estimated 90 million Americans (42% of the current population) experience dizziness at least once in their lifetime. Some patients develop permanent balance deficits with subsequent functional limitations.
Some estimates state that as many of half of all cases of dizziness are due to vestibular disorders. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that those with symptomatic vestibular dysfunction have a 12-fold increase in the odds of falling.
Vertigo can be caused by both peripheral and central vestibular deficits. About three-fourths of vestibular disorders are peripheral (inner ear and vestibular nerve).
What are the consequences of not getting help?
For patients over 75 years of age, dizziness is the number one reason for visiting a physician, and dizziness is a significant risk factor for falls in elderly individuals
Although adults are typically plagued with dizziness and vertigo disorders, children also experience dizziness and vertigo. Children may be affected more than adults, and this prevents normal childhood activities that range from athletics to playground activities.
How can it be treated?
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a form of physical therapy that uses specialized exercises that result in gaze and gait stabilization. Most VRT exercises involve head movement, and head movements are essential in stimulating and retraining the vestibular system. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy has been a highly effective modality for most adults and children with disorders of the vestibular or central balance system. By improving vestibular function and promoting mechanisms of central adaptation and compensation, VRT aims to do the following:
- Improve balance
- Minimize falls
- Decrease subjective sensations of dizziness
- Improve stability during locomotion
- Reduce over dependency on visual and somatosensory inputs
- Improve neuromuscular coordination
- Decrease anxiety and somatization due to vestibular disorientation
Ask your doctor today about VRT and if it is right for you or contact us at one of our 4 locations. We’ll help you get back to your normal routine!