The vestibular system is part of the inner ear and brain that is involved in processing information to control both balance and eye movement.
The main symptoms are vertigo, dizziness or balance problems. Other symptoms can include muscle tension, headaches, fatigue and anxiety.
Vestibular rehabilitation is using physiotherapy to retrain the brain to process the information correctly. This is done through specific exercises and, in some cases, manoeuvres to alleviate your symptoms.
Conditions that can cause vertigo or dizziness are:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (B.P.P.V.)
- Meniere’s Disease
- Cervicogenic Headache
- Vestibular Neuritis
- Poor balance due to ageing
- Some diagnosed stable central lesions
What does the treatment involve?
Your physiotherapist (Ahmad or Mariola) will take a detailed history of your condition whether it is vertigo, dizziness or a balance issue and will then use a series of tests to diagnose what is the cause of your symptoms.
Treatment will start immediately and the type of treatment will depend on the diagnosis. Occasionally the tests carried out at the first appointment may cause a brief increase in symptoms and because of this, we advise that you bring someone with you for the first appointment, in case you do not feel well enough to drive home.
How long will it take?
That depends on the diagnosis but 75% of patients require three or fewer appointments. Sometimes the exercises may initially cause an increase in symptoms as the brain and body adjust to the new movements.
As you practise your exercises, your symptoms should decrease and your vertigo, dizziness and balance should improve.
Please do let us know if you are experiencing any side effects.
How do I book?
You do not need a referral letter to attend but it is best that you have been assessed by a doctor at some stage (either for this or a previous episode of symptoms).
You can book an initial appointment (vestibular rehab) to see either Mariola or Ahmad. This is a one hour appointment although the history will be taken by phone at the start of the hour.
If booking by phone, please make sure you specify that the appointment is for vertigo treatment so that the correct appointment and physiotherapist is booked.
If you have been referred by a doctor, don’t forget to bring the referral letter with you and also do bring a list of any medications you are taking (both prescribed and over the counter).