Vertigo & Vestibular Rehabilitation

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is the sensation you have when you feel that you, or the environment around you, is spinning.  It can be mild enough to barely notice, severe enough to limit your daily activity or even limit your ability to get up.

What are the symptoms of vertigo?

  • A sense of spinning, often the first episode lasting for 30 minutes or more
  • Motion intolerance
  • Sense of blurred vision or trouble reading with head movement
  • The feeling that the eyes need shock absorbers.
  • Possible hearing loss in some instances
  • Imbalance or disequilibrium
  • Staggering, veering, swaying or tilting with walking
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea/vomiting

The symptoms can last from seconds to hours or days and can occur in sitting, standing, lying or when changing positions.

What causes Vertigo?

Dizziness is one of the most common complaints for patients over the age of 75, but it can occur at any age.   It can be the result of BPPV (an inner ear disorder), migraines, allergies, a side effect of medication, a neck dysfunction, concussion, infection, or other causes.

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation (VRT) or Vestibular Physiotherapy?

At Penticton Skaha Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre, we can provide Vestibular Rehabilitation for individuals who suffer with vertigo.

Vestibular Rehabilitation is well established as the gold standard for the management of non-compensated vestibulopathy. It is an exercise-based treatment program designed to promote vestibular adaptation or substitution, meaning you are trying to adapt to tolerate movement again.

The goal of Vestibular Rehabilitation is to reduce vertigo and dizziness, improve your ability to stabilize your vision, improve balance, improve functional activities of daily living, decrease the risk of falling and improve your quality of life.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) provided at our clinic will need to be supplemented with daily home exercises to gain the maximum results and optimal outcomes.

VRT programs can take as little as a few weeks but can take significantly longer depending on each individual case, health history, home program and symptoms.

At Penticton Skaha Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre, our Vestibular Physiotherapists strive to provide the most current treatment forms to aid you in regaining function after suffering from vertigo.

Your assessment may take from 45-60 minutes, with follow up appointments last 30-45 minutes.

Based on your assessment, an individualized plan of care will be provided to improve any deficits.

Who will benefit from Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Patients are who referred by their primary care physician or are suffering with:

  • Dizziness/Vertigo
  • BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
  • Balance issues
  • Meniere’s Syndrome
  • Vestibular Neuritis/Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibulopathies

What is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)?

Positional Vertigo or BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo, resulting from particles that move into the semicircular canals of the inner ear, causing the sensation of spinning when you move your head. It can also cause nausea or imbalance when the head is put into certain positions, lasting only seconds, up to a minute. It can occur at any age but is more commonly seen in older individuals.

The most common positions that reproduce vertigo in BPPV are bending forward, reaching when looking up, lying down and rolling in bed.

Positional Vertigo most often occurs spontaneously but can also occur after a viral inner ear infection, or post-trauma, such as after a fall, post-concussion, and post-Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA).

Individualized Treatment for BPPV at Penticton Skaha Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre:

  •  The most common treatment for BPPV is a repositioning manoeuvre, such as the Epley Manoeuvre. The aim is to remove the particles from the semicircular canals of the inner ear and return them to the vestibule, where the particles do not cause spinning.
  • This is not a permanent cure, but a treatment. BPPV may recur in a few months, a few years, or it may never recur. It all depends if particles come lose again.
  • You do not need to restrict your positions or movements after treatment, except in cases where there is an increased recurrence rate (10% or less of patients with BPPV).

Our Vestibular Physiotherapists at Surrey Hwy 10 Physio finds that patients often have significant improvement within the first session, with some patients requiring more than 1-2 sessions. Cases of traumatic onset can have a higher recurrence rate and may require additional sessions.