Vestibular and Post-Concussion Rehabilitation

Whether you have been living with dizziness or poor balance for just a few weeks or a few years, you know how it affects your daily life. The simplest tasks can be frightening. As part of Grand View Health’s Physical Therapy Department, the Vestibular and Balance Therapy Program features a specially trained vestibular therapist who can help improve your stability and reduce your dizziness and risk of falling.

About Your Vestibular System

Your vestibular system, located in the inner ear, helps control your sense of balance and orientation. Vestibular disorders can cause imbalance, vertigo, nausea, headaches, motion sensitivity, and the inability to focus vision while moving your head. Many of these same symptoms occur after sports and work-related concussions. Through vestibular and balance therapy, these symptoms from inner ear disorders (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, unilateral hypofunctions or bilateral hypofunctions), concussion, migraine, brain injuries or stroke can improve, and quality of life can be regained.

How Vestibular Therapy Works

Vestibular and balance therapy is an exercise-based approach to treating dizziness and balance disorders—using all the senses that contribute to balance and orientation, including the vestibular system, vision and the sensation in your feet and legs. Our vestibular therapist uses a range of exercises and diagnostic tests, including but not limited to:

  • Infrared video goggles to view and record specific eye movements and better identify the source of your dizziness (located in Harleysville and Sellersville)
  • NeuroCom VSR Sport with inVision technology to compare your balance to norms for age and height, and to determine how quickly you can turn your head while maintaining the ability to focus on the surrounding environment. (located in Sellersville)
  • Repositioning maneuvers (including Epley maneuver) to eliminate benign paroxysmal positional vertigo that results when crystals belonging in one part of the inner ear become dislodged
  • Balance exercises to help regain stability and prevent falls
  • Vestibular exercises to aid recovery of clear vision, especially during head movement
  • Motion sensitivity exercises that allow your brain to become accustomed to normal movements that are causing you dizziness
  • Cervical proprioception exercises to retrain your neck receptors to align to neutral

These exercises are customized to help you meet your goal – whether it’s returning to activities of daily living or getting back to sports.

Our vestibular therapists are licensed physical therapists and have advanced training in evidence-based treatments of vestibular disorders and imbalance.

A Personalized Treatment Plan

During your first appointment, our vestibular therapist will thoroughly assess your dizziness, balance, strength, flexibility, walking and safety. Next, the therapist will determine what type of vertigo you present with and will design a challenging and safe treatment plan specifically for you. You will also learn about your disorder, and how to move and maintain balance.