Vestibular Disorders: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments with Rehabilitation
The vestibular system is composed of the inner ear and portions of the brain responsible for sensorimotor processing. This system is often referred to as the ‘balance’ system. It is responsible for processing motion, maintaining balance, and the control of eye movements. When injury or disease to this system occurs, vestibular disorders are the result. Some common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Labyrinthitis, Meniere’s Diseases, and more. In order to alleviate the symptoms of various vestibular disorders, we use customized and advanced rehabilitation techniques that are non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and safe.
Symptoms & Causes
Depending on the disorder, people can experience various vestibular symptoms. Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include dizziness, vertigo, balance problems, visual disturbances, hearing changes, spatial disorientation, and cognitive/psychological changes (VeDA, n.d.). There are numerous causes of vestibular disorders, some of which include damage to the inner ear, an infection, ototoxicity, or head injury.
Treatments and Therapy
Generally, treatment for vestibular disorders includes exercise and balance re-training, medications, chiropractic interventions, and in some cases surgery (VeDA, n.d.). These methods of therapy are not effective in all cases. The vestibular rehabilitation techniques we use, address the source of the dysfunction. Through non-invasive & drug-free methods we can rehabilitate the vestibular system. Using techniques such as neuro-modulation, repetitive peripheral somatosensory stimulation (RPSS), gaze stabilization training, and somatosensory integration therapies we can address vestibular symptoms. A research study focused on improving gait in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) showed that the individuals who underwent non-invasive stimulation to the tongue (a form of RPSS) as part of their therapy, showed more significant improvements in gait than a control group (Tyler, M. E., Kaczmarek, K. A., Rust, K. L., Subbotin, A. M., Skinner, K. L., & Danilov, Y. P., 2014). Therefore, it is apparent that directly addressing the root cause of vestibular symptoms and disorders can result in better progress, without the side effects that medications often induce. Improving your symptoms is crucial to your overall health and quality of life.
Tyler, M. E., Kaczmarek, K. A., Rust, K. L., Subbotin, A. M., Skinner, K. L., & Danilov, Y. P. (2014). Non-invasive neuromodulation to improve gait in chronic multiple sclerosis: A randomized double-blind controlled pilot trial. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 11, 79. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.humber.ca/10.1186/1743-0003-11-79
Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA). (n.d.). Symptoms. Retrieved from: https://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder/symptoms
Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA). (n.d.). Diagnosis & Treatment. Retrieved from: https://vestibular.org/diagnosis-treatment