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Vestibular Dysfunction

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system includes the parts of inner ear and brain that process information involved in controlling balance, eye movements, and sense of position or movement in space. Any disease, injury or infection that damages these processing areas can result in vestibular dysfunction/disorder.

Common Symptoms of Vestibular Dysfunction

  • People with inner ear disorder often experience problems with balance and position or movement related dizziness. This ultimately results in decreased strength, range of motion, increased tension in neck and shoulder region, leading to muscle fatigue and headaches.
  • One may find difficulty changing positions or moving without losing balance or experiencing vertigo.
  • Vestibular Dysfunction can cause one to be completely bed-bound for days, which can affect quality of life.

Common Vestibular Dysfunctions/Disorders We Treat

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Labyrynthitis/Vestibular Neuritis
  • Acoustic Neuroma
  • Concussions
  • Migraine associated vertigo
  • Semi-circular canal dehiscence
  • Mal de debarquement (Feeling of persisting rocking and movement after a sea cruise/travel)
  • Complications from aging, autoimmune diseases and allergies

Why Vestibular Rehab Therapy (VRT)?

Vestibular disorders are usually treated with medication that suppresses the symptoms of dizziness/ vertigo or loss of balance without treating the underlying cause. Such suppressants can interfere with a person’s inherent ability to make necessary adaptations/accommodations in the Central Nervous System (CNS). VRT helps the patient with this on a long-term basis without the side effects that medication can cause.

Vestibular Dysfunction Treatment at Shift

Vestibular Dysfunction Treatment is an alternative treatment approach involving specific exercises that can eliminate or significantly reduce symptoms by promoting compensation strategies of CNS.

VRT includes;

  • Canalith Repositioning maneuvers (a series of head maneuvers that moves the displaced calcium carbonate crystals in the semicircular canals)
  • Exercises for improving eye and head movement coordination
  • Stimulating symptoms of dizziness in order to desensitize the vestibular symptoms
  • Improve balance and walking ability
  • Improving secondary symptoms related to vestibular dysfunctions such as muscle fatigue/weakness, muscle tightness and mobility


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