Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: A Proven, Evidence-Based Treatment for Dizziness, Loss of Balance and Vertigo
Are you suffering from dizziness? Experiencing loss of balance that no one has been able to explain and treat?
It can be incredibly frustrating when the symptoms you have been experiencing continue to affect you because you just can’t get to the bottom of what is going on. When suffering from vertigo, dizziness, nausea and loss of balance, so many people feel that their life is on hold, becoming rightfully upset because they just can’t do the things they used to do.
What are your symptoms?
- Do you feel unsteady on your feet?
- Do you feel drunk when you haven’t had a drink?
- Perhaps you feel like you are on a boat?
- Do you feel like you’re veering as you walk?
- Have you had afall?
- Do you feel as though you are spinning or moving, or your surroundings are spinning ormoving around you?
Some people feel when they move their head or body like the world is catching up with them. They may experience light headedness. You could feel muzzy or out of focus. Often nausea and sometimes vomiting will accompany these symptoms.
Sometimes the way you feel will make it difficult for you to spend time in crowded places such as shopping centres. It may even stop you going out altogether.
Whether you have bouts of dizziness or occasional balance issues, or your condition is affecting you day in and day out, vestibular rehabilitation can help at the very least to ease your symptoms. In many cases you could find those symptoms relieved altogether.
You don’t have to accept that this is the way it is
What you must never do is just accept that this is the way things are. Regardless of your age or lifestyle, there are ways to improve your quality of life and reduce – or in many cases eliminate – your symptoms.
Too many people think that as they get older, they will naturally become unsteady and more prone to falls. It may well be the case that vision deteriorates as we get older, and other devices our bodies use to help us balance start to wane. But that does not mean you have to live with the risk of falling, because there are exercises designed specifically to reduce the risk of falls.
The Solution: Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is a special type of physiotherapy. It is a proven, evidence-based method of treating patients who suffer from dizziness, loss of balance and vertigo. The exercises that make up the treatment programmes are designed to encourage the brain to compensate for a balance disorder caused by a virus, disease, trauma or changes brought on by natural ageing.
Vestibular physiotherapy is also incredibly effective in making people feel safer and reducing their risk of suffering a fall. Whilst it may not always completely cure balance problems experienced in later life, it can certainly result in considerable improvement.
The exercises that make up vestibular therapy must be individually tailored to the underlying condition that is causing the symptoms. Getting to the bottom of what is going on is the first step in the treatment programme, and this is precisely what vestibular rehabilitationtherapy expert Nicola Harris specialises in.
About Nicola Harris: Vestibular rehabilitation therapy specialist
As a physiotherapist who had seen patients with balance and dizziness related issues, and as someone who had suffered from dizziness herself, Nicola was keen to learn more about the treatments that were achieving such encouraging results in America.
Her fascination with the subject of balance, and her commitment to discovering effective, proven treatments for the likes of Vestibular neuronitis, labyrinthitis,Benign Paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)and migraine related balance disorders plus other conditions that lead to dizziness and loss of balance led her to specialise in the niche area of what is commonly referred to as vestibular rehabilitation therapy.
As a patient, you’ll find that Nicola has a natural ability to piece together symptoms, history and lifestyle in order to either create an individually tailored treatment plan, or if necessary recommendyou have further tests to enablean accurate diagnosis.
How do Nicola’s vestibular therapy treatments work?
All treatments are individually tailored. Nicola uses her experience and skill to formulate a treatment plan designed to deal with every aspect of the condition, including any triggers that induce or worsen the symptoms.
Patients are usually given special exercises to do regularly at home. These will be designed specifically for the condition. This, however, is only one part of the treatment. Often Nicola will incorporate lifestyle and dietary advice. Sometimes other forms of therapy may also be suggested, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
As Nicola always says, it’s about all-round care.
How long do vestibular rehabilitation treatments take?
The length of the treatment depends upon the nature of the condition. Some conditions can be straightforward to treat and only need one or two sessions with Nicola, alongside the home exercise plan. On average, patients will see Nicola three to four times. Some will continue for longer, depending on the diagnosis.
What to consider before starting vestibular therapy?
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy should never commence until the specialist providing the treatment has a comprehensive understanding of the patient and his or her symptoms. Gaining such an understanding is a true skill.
A good vestibular rehabilitation therapist will have a natural ability to get to the bottom of what is going on with the patient. This ability comes only through extensive experience where getting to the bottom of the root cause of symptoms comes almost intuitively.
Do you feel as though you are running out of options?
Sadly by the time Nicola sees many of her patients, they have already visited a host of other medical professionals and have often been suffering from symptoms for many months and sometimes years.
In some cases things have been missed that might have led to a completely different line of enquiry. Where Nicola has been providing vestibular physiotherapyfor such a long time however, she can tell instinctively when there is more to a symptom than meets the eye. Being exceptionally thorough in examination also plays a crucial role in managing the problem effectively or being able to point the patient to the right assistance.
By the time they leave their first appointment with Nicola, most patients will have a good understanding of their condition and a treatment plan or will have been referred to the right place for further investigation.
How to find out whether balance physio and vestibular rehabilitation can help YOU
Nicola Harris is one of the UK’s leading names in vestibular rehabilitationand is highly respected in this specialist field.
“It’s clear that Nicola genuinely cares about her patients. She intuitively seemed to know what was going on with my range of symptoms. Within just an hour she had diagnosed something that had been missed by other medical professionals for way too many years. Thanks to her, I am finally on the road to recovery. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Nicola to anyone suffering from dizziness or balance problems.”
Steven Grant, Vestibular Migraine Patient.