If you or someone you know struggles with vertigo, dizziness, or balance issues, you know how debilitating it can be. However, there is hope for those who encounter challenges in this area. Just like other systems in the body, your vestibular system can be trained and rehabilitated!
Age, injuries, sinus infections, health conditions, and other factors can influence the body in ways that determine balancing abilities. It may come as a surprise, but your ears play a significant role in your equilibrium. Folks who experience random dizziness, falls, or gaze instability should gain an understanding of what balance therapy is, as it’s going to be a helpful tool for their recovery.
What Is Your Vestibular System?
The vestibular system consists of three semi-circular canals that are filled with sensory receptors (known as hair cells) and fluid. As we move, the fluid moves and activates the sensory receptors to inform our brains about head position, motion, and spatial orientation.
The system is responsible for our balance, head and body stability, and posture. The vestibular structure is highly sensitive and, when impeded, can cause balance and hearing issues. Air pressure, noise, and head impact can affect the system in ways that make it difficult to retain balance. Alcohol and rapid movement can cause this too, but only temporarily.
To avoid worsening any vestibular injuries, you should seek help from a medical professional. That’s where balance therapy comes into play. The sooner you receive treatment for your ailments, the greater chance you have at improvement. So, what does balance therapy consist of, and how can it help you? Read on to find out.
What Balance Therapy Does
Also known as vestibular rehabilitation therapy, balance therapy is designed to improve vestibular conditions that cause vertigo, dizziness, lightheadedness, and contribute to an increased risk of falling. Part of balance therapy often includes teaching you how to compensate for a vestibular system that has impaired your function. This can be done in part by strengthening and proprioception work.
If your brain does not naturally compensate for vestibular injuries, you may experience symptoms that negatively affect your balance and safety. Review the symptoms of an impaired vestibular system for a better understanding of what balance therapy is and what it treats.
- Vertigo and dizziness: Vertigo is often the term used to describe extreme cases of dizziness and loss of orientation. It is associated with a sense of spinning. Dizziness of any degree can be the result of a lacking vestibular system.
- Imbalance: Responsible for causing falls, imbalance is a product of damage to your systems. Your vestibular system is one part of your overall balance and it plays a very important role in reducing your risk for falls. It’s important for people suffering from imbalance to seek treatment, as it can be very hazardous, especially for the elderly.
- Gaze instability: Gaze instability makes it difficult for eyes to stay put when focusing on a subject.
If You’re Seeking Balance Therapy
Balance therapy is a tool that can vastly improve a patient’s well-being. If you struggle with any of the symptoms mentioned above, refer to Mettler Center for physical therapy in Champaign, IL. We have a team of dedicated physical therapists that use multifaceted approaches to recovery. Contact us today to set up a free vestibular consultation and get started on the journey to feeling like your best self.