Balance-related conditions like vertigo and dizziness are very common in United States adults, with nearly 40% experiencing it at least once in their lifetime. These issues become more common in adults 65 and older, as people that age see a decline in their vestibular system (the sensory system that helps with balance and coordination).
Balance problems are most often the symptom of other conditions, ranging from mild to serious. In order to manage vertigo and dizziness, vestibular rehabilitation is a treatment that can help reorient your brain to get your balance back.
Patients in the Hagerstown, Maryland area looking for treatment for balance problems like vertigo and dizziness can find help with Dr. Chris Clark and our dedicated team at Premier Spine and Sports Medicine. We offer specialized treatments to our patients using physical therapy, cutting-edge technology, acupuncture, and more.
What can cause balance problems?
Problems with balance stem from issues that affect your vestibular system, a sensory system mainly located in the inner ear that controls your equilibrium. It keeps your balance, and stabilizes your movement and posture. These conditions can cause problems such as:
- Labyrinthitis: the result of an inner ear infection affecting the vestibulocochlear nerve
- Vestibular neuritis: also caused by infection, but affects the vestibular nerve
- Cholesteatoma: a noncancerous growth in the inner ear that grows behind the eardrum
- Ménière’s disease: a disease that cause a fluid buildup in the inner ear
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): caused by a dislodging of fluids and calcium carbonate crystals in your inner ear
- Vestibular migraines: a rare type of migraine that causes vertigo and dizziness, but no pain
Head injuries, ear surgery, shingles, syphilis, ataxia, and multiple sclerosis can also contribute to problems with vertigo and dizziness. In many cases, these balance problems are also accompanied by lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and headaches.
How does vestibular rehabilitation help?
This type of rehabilitation helps your brain compensate for vestibular issues by finding other ways to process sensory information concerning balance and movement. Common exercises include vision stability, posture training, stretching and strengthening exercises, balance retraining, walking exercises, neck mobility exercises, and ergonomic training.
With so many possible causes for vertigo and dizziness, your treatment plan will be catered to your needs, and how long you’re in rehabilitation will vary. Patients typically participate in rehab a couple of times a week for six to eight weeks. When you’re done you should experience far less risk of falling, a decrease in dizziness, and improved stability.
Vertigo and dizziness can happen for many reasons, but vestibular rehabilitation can help you get your balance back. Call our office or book an appointment online with Dr. Clark and Premier Spine and Sports Medicine today.