Vestibular / Balance Therapy in Estero

Are you living with dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and foggy thinking? These symptoms can be caused by vestibular balance disorders, and they can affect every area of your life, from your ability to be productive at work to your ability to enjoy your hobbies.

The unpredictability of vestibular disorder symptoms can lead to anxiety and a loss of confidence, but there is help available. Vestibular and balance therapy in Estero offers drug-free, non-invasive relief that can have you back on your feet and able to live your life again.

Naples Community Injury Center offers vestibular / balance therapy in our Estero office, and we are accepting new patients. To learn more about how our chiropractors and physiotherapists can help you with balance issues, call our team at (239) 631-5445 or fill out our online contact form.

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What Is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy?

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a form of specialized physical therapy aimed at treating balance problems and dizziness caused by inner ear or central nervous system disorders. The goal of VRT therapy is to help retrain the brain to process signals from the inner ear, eyes, muscles, and joints more effectively to improve balance and dizziness symptoms, and prevent falls.

VRT exercises are designed to help compensate for vestibular (inner ear balance) deficits and improve visual stability. This includes head movements, eye exercises, balance training, walking exercises, and building physical endurance.

This therapy is typically conducted by a specially trained physical or occupational therapist who evaluates and designs a customized program. Research published by the National Library of Medicine shows VRT helps reduce dizziness, improve balance and stability, increase mobility, and reduce the risk of falls. It takes commitment and consistency for the best results.

The Causes of Vestibular System Dysfunction

Vestibular Balance Therapy in Estero

If you’re experiencing symptoms of vestibular system dysfunction, there are several potential causes. These include but are not limited to:

  • Inner ear infections – Infections of the inner ear, like vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis, can cause inflammation and damage to the delicate structures of the vestibular system. This can lead to vertigo, imbalance, and nausea.
  • Head trauma – Injuries to the head or traumatic brain injuries can disrupt signaling between the brain and inner ear, causing vestibular problems like dizziness, vertigo, and instability.
  • Age-related degeneration – As people age, degeneration of the vestibular structures in the inner ear can occur, leading to more frequent issues with balance and dizziness.
  • Central causes – Problems with parts of the brain or neurological pathways that process vestibular signals can also lead to dizziness, vertigo, and falls.

Identifying what underlying condition or event caused vestibular dysfunction is important for determining the appropriate treatment approach.

Does Vestibular Therapy Work?

Yes, research generally shows that vestibular therapy is effective at improving balance and reducing dizziness for many patients. Studies from the National Institute of Health have found that patients with chronic vestibular problems like vertigo and dizziness show significant improvements in symptoms, balance, and stability after undergoing vestibular therapy programs.

Patients who comply with doing their customized vestibular home exercises regularly tend to experience greater symptom relief and recovery of stability than non-compliant patients. This highlights the importance of consistency with the therapy.

However, how much or how quickly someone improves varies individually based on the cause and severity of vestibular dysfunction, their ability to adapt, therapy consistency, and other factors. Overall evidence supports that a customized program of vestibular therapy works to manage chronic dizziness and balance problems.

What Happens During a Vestibular/Balance Therapy Session in Estero?

A typical vestibular or balance therapy session involves a customized program of exercises and activities aimed at improving dizziness and balance issues. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from VRT therapy in our Estero office:

Initial Evaluation

The physical or occupational therapist will assess your balance, coordination, and perceptual problems, such as with the Sensory Organization Test. They identify specific deficits.

Exercises Targeting Specific Symptoms

You’ll be prescribed individualized exercises tailored to your particular vestibular dysfunction and needs. These can include:

  • Gaze stabilization – Shaking or turning the head side to side while maintaining focus.
  • Habituation – Repeated head motions to relieve vertigo.
  • Balance reactions – Standing on foam cushions and controlled leaning activities.
  • Gait/Mobility – Walking with head turns and tandem stance walking.
  • Visual dependency – Moving with eyes closed to increase reliance on the vestibular system.

Feedback and Progression

The physiotherapist provides constant feedback and will progress exercise difficulty as you improve. Therapy aims to retrain automatic postural responses.

As you progress, more challenging balance conditions are introduced. Advanced VR technology may also be incorporated. Sessions typically last 30-60 minutes, with recommendations for daily home exercises. Consistency is key for retraining brain pathways and recovery.

How Long Does It Take for Vestibular Therapy to Work?

Most patients begin experiencing some symptom relief and improvements in balance within 2-4 weeks of starting vestibular therapy. However, maximal, lasting benefits often take 12 weeks (3 months) or more of consistent therapy. Here is how a therapy timeline may look:

  • Early sessions (1-2 weeks): Your therapist evaluates problems with balance and perception. They recommend gentle exercises start to promote adaptation.
  • Mid-term (2 weeks – 2 months): The exercises become progressively more challenging as symptoms improve. Balance and stability start to noticeably improve. Dizziness may fluctuate at times.
  • Long-term (2+ months): Exercises train compensation strategies. The brain is better able to process vestibular signals and reliance on vision decreases. Postural control and balance continue improving.
  • b: Balance systems have undergone substantial rehabilitation. Patients can better self-manage any residual dizziness. Less therapy may be needed.

Commitment to regularly performing the custom home-exercise program is key to seeing benefits. Consistency stimulates neural pathways, so commitment to regularly performing your custom home exercise program is important, as stopping too soon may cause regression. The pace of your recovery will vary based on the severity and cause of your vestibular dysfunction.

Get Vestibular / Balance Therapy in Estero

At Naples Community Injury Center, vestibular / balance therapy is often prescribed in conjunction with other therapies or chiropractic adjustments as part of an overall customized treatment plan. We are here to assess your condition and develop a plan for your treatment that will help you regain your coordination and balance.

Our team in Estero is ready to schedule your intake exam. Call us at (239) 631-5445to get started.

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