What is Vestibular rehabilitation therapy?

What is Vestibular rehabilitation therapy?

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is conducted by a physiotherapist in the form of specific exercises to facilitate recovery of the vestibular system. Aim of (VRT) is to improve adaptation of the vestibular system through habituation and substitution by using the brain’s ability to change itself in response to changes caused by various conditions.

What conditions does VRT treat?

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Vestibular neuronitis / Labyrinthitis
  • Concussion
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Meniere’s disease

These conditions can cause a wide range of symptoms that are disabling and reduce the person’s ability to function in their everyday life.

What symptoms does VRT treat?

  • Vertigo (a perceived feeling of the environment or self-moving)
  • Unsteadiness
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty walking and navigating obstacles 
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Frequent falls or near falls

Goals of VRT are:

  • To enhance gaze stability (ability to maintain focus whilst changing head position)
  • To enhance postural stability
  • To improve vertigo
  • To improve activities of daily living

What does a VRT session involve at Glen Eira Physiotherapy?

The initial and follow up consultations are one hour in duration. In these consultations a comprehensive history as well as a physical examination is done, and an individually tailored program is made to address your specific problems. The program usually lasts around 10 to 15 minutes and can be done several times a day.

vestibular rehabilitation MelbourneExercises in your program may include:

  • Head-eye movements in various body postures and activities
  • Balance exercises
  • Desensitisation exercises which involve exposure to movement that provoke your symptoms.

How long do I have to do VRT for?

The length of treatment varies on the specific condition being treated however improvements are usually seen within the first three weeks or less for acute conditions such as BPPV and vestibular neuronitis.  For chronic conditions such as stroke and MS, VRT may be part of your ongoing rehabilitation program.

If you think that you may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation therapy or have been diagnosed and advised by your GP or neurologist to see a vestibular physiotherapist, please ring our rooms to make an appointment.

If you would like to speak to one of our team members or make an appointment, please call us on (03) 9571 2111 or book online now.