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Treatment of vestibular related dizziness and balance disorders in our Toronto clinic
Vestibular physiotherapy is treatment for BPPV and dizziness and balance disorders related to vestibular system. Vestibular rehabilitation is offered in our North York physiotherapy clinic and in our Thornhill physiotherapy clinic. Vestibular physiotherapy is the assessment and treatment of Vestibular system. Vestibular system is the structure located inside the inner ear and once compromised by an injury such as concussion or infections or other conditions can commonly cause symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Other common symptoms include light headedness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), double vision or impaired balance.
Our Vestibular Physiotherapist has additional training and experience in the assessment and treatment of vertigo, dizziness and other vestibular issues, including poor balance.
What is the Vestibular System?
The vestibular system is an important organ inside your inner ear and contributes to your balance and sense of the position of your body in space. Your vestibular system comprises of a few components:
- Vestibular receptors in the inner ear
- The connectors between vestibular receptors and other areas in the central nervous system
- Hands and fingers
- The sensory receptors in the sole of feet
- Cochlea, a part of auditory system which constitutes the labyrinth and includes:
- Semicircular canal system, which detects rotational movements of your head and body
- Otoliths, which detects the linear accelerations (moving your body forward and backwards and the speed and acceleration).
Head movements stimulate receptors in the inner ear by transmitting signals to the labyrinth. Labyrinth is a structure in your inner ear and is made up of three semicircular canals surrounded by fluid. The cell receptors inside the labyrinth then transmit these signals and received movement information to the vestibular nerve and the vestibular nerve carries the information to the brainstem and cerebellum. The Brain stem also controls eye movements and reflexes which are necessary for a clear vision balance mechanisms (activity of muscles that control our posture and keep us upright). Brain stem and cerebellum control balance, posture, and motor coordination.
The trained vestibular therapist uses the involuntary eye movement (nystagmus) to assess the symptoms and identify what area of the vestibular system is affected.
Physiomobility clinics’ Vestibular physiotherapist uses the latest equipment to track, monitor and record the eye movements during assessment and treatment.
The information collected during your assessment will then be used to develop a treatment plan that includes a series of manoeuvres and exercises to decrease the symptoms and improve balance.
Adults who have suffered damage to the vestibular organs of the inner ear can learn to depend on visual information to maintain their balance. Vestibular rehabilitation is activation and training other senses such as vision to compensate for the lost senses.
What is the difference between Vertigo and Dizziness?
Both Vertigo and dizziness are considered to be symptoms not a disease. Vertigo refers to the sensation of spinning of the world around you. Vertigo is the result of a disturbance in your vestibular system. It is commonly short lived but can last from hours to days and can be debilitating. People who experience Vertigo may use this term to describe feelings of dizziness which is the sensation of light-headedness, faintness, and unsteadiness.
Common Causes of Vertigo and Dizziness:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Inflammation in the inner ear
- Meniere's disease
- Neck joint dysfunction and arthritis
- Vestibular migraine
- Vestibular neuritis
- Acoustic neuroma
- Rarely, vertigo can be a symptom of a more serious neurological problem such as a stroke or brain haemorrhage.