Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (or VRT) is an effective treatment option for athletes and other active people suffering from vestibular disorders.
VRT can help to improve symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. It can also be effective for treating vertigo caused by inner ear disorders.
VRT can help to improve quality of life not “only” by reducing falls and improving activity levels, but by getting athletes and people who live active lifestyles back to the sports and other activities they love.
Vestibular Rehabilitation Exercises
VRT typically includes exercises that help to retrain the brain to use visual and proprioceptive cues for balance. These can include, among other things, gaze stabilization and habituation exercises:
- Gaze stabilization exercises help the patient to keep their eyes still when moving their head.
- Habituation exercises help the patient to become less sensitive to specific stimuli (such as movements or visual stimuli) through repeated exposure.
It is important for patients to practice these exercises under the supervision of healthcare practitioners who specialize in vestibular therapy, especially since there is no one-size-fits-all VRT plan.
The specific exercises in a vestibular rehabilitation therapy plan are tailored to the individual patient’s needs, based on the specific aspects and severity of their vestibular disorder. The number, frequency, and intensity of the exercises can be adjusted according to the patient’s progress and tolerance.
Benefits of Vestibular Therapy
Some of the benefits of VRT for athletes and active adults include:
- Reduced dizziness and vertigo
- Reduced falls
- Improved balance
- Improved activity levels
- Improved quality of life.
VRT for Active People
For people who live active lifestyles, dizziness and imbalance can be a major hindrance to daily activities. VRT can help these people get back to their normal activities by improving symptoms and quality of life.
VRT for Athletes
For athletes, balance training is a critical part of athletic injury prevention. By improving balance and proprioception, athletes can decrease their risk of sustaining a serious injury. When an athlete suffers from a vestibular disorder and their balance is affected, VRT can be an effective treatment option to help them get back to their sport.
Customized VRT Plans
As mentioned above, VRT is an individualized form of therapy that is based on a patient’s specific needs. The vestibular therapist will work with the patient to design a customized treatment plan, based on the findings of clinical assessments, lab testing/imaging, and the patient’s input.
Multiple factors are considered to promote the highest potential for recovery, including activity level, pain, other medical conditions, medications, and emotional concerns.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a vestibular disorder, VRT may be an effective treatment option for you.
To learn more about VRT and how it can help alleviate problems caused by vestibular disorders, contact Continuum Health Centre. Our integrated support team will provide you with the individualized care and treatment you need to improve your symptoms and quality of life—and get you back to enjoying your regular activities as soon as possible.