Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation in Bedford & Fort Worth TX
You bend over and POW! Suddenly you feel dizzy… the world is spinning, or you feel like you are. You sit down (quickly) and wait for it to pass. It has happened before, but you have started to worry about it this time. What’s going on? Is it serious? Can it be fixed, or do you just have to live with it forever?
Every year millions of people in the United States develop vertigo – the sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning. Often this is the cause of a multitude of other symptoms such as:
All that not only increases your chances of falling but also negatively affects your ability to function in your daily life.
So, it’s common, but is it serious?
Vertigo can occur when there is a problem with the brain, sensory nerve pathway, or, most commonly, the inner ear. Spells of dizziness can be temporary or ongoing and can vary in intensity.
Then it is something that can be fixed… at least when it is…
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common inner ear problem affecting the vestibular system, which is used to maintain balance. BPPV is triggered by abnormal movements of “crystals” in the inner ear via changes in head position, most commonly when laying down, turning over in bed, or looking up.
Many people, especially if you are an older adult, can’t track back to a specific event that causes BPPV. But an attack could be brought on by head trauma or keeping your head stationary for a long time. Be careful with events like spending time in the dentist’s chair, going to the beauty salon, or if you are on bed rest.
While the initial cause for this crystal movement is often unknown, crystals can become loose due to head trauma, infections, conditions such as Meniere’s disease, or aging. It has also been linked to dementia and is twice as common in women than men.
How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
Sometimes, BPPV seems to resolve on its own over time, but if so, it usually comes back. Most people find that treatment with a BPPV physical therapist helps them recover far more quickly.
Fortunately, most people recover from BPPV with a simple but very specific, scientifically researched head and neck maneuver, the Epley maneuver, performed by a physical therapist. The Epley is a technique designed to “manually” re-position the crystals to a more open area of the inner ear where they can be reabsorbed.
Regularly, cervical exercises will be implemented to prevent crystals from descending from a lack of cervical motion and improve overall functional movement patterns. Both cervical and other positional exercises are given for the patient to use at home for greater effectiveness and prevent future vertigo symptoms.
How Can Physical Therapy Cure BPPV?
Within 3 years of having BPPV, approximately 50% of people may have a recurrence. Symptoms can return if new crystals break or even with changes in the weather. However, you’ll be able to recognize the symptoms and keep yourself safe with the tools given to you at therapy. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need a “tune-up!”
How Does Physical Therapy Help Balance?
Not every case of dizziness is due to BPPV. Your physical therapist at Barkman and Smith will make a thorough assessment to discover the root cause of your discomfort. If you do have BPPV, they can diagnose and treat those symptoms of your inner ear.
If your balance is off because of other problems, your physical therapist will help you by training your proprioceptive system and improving your strength and posture.
Our physical therapists and assistants are prepared through education and experience to help you recover from your vertigo, dizziness, and balance problems!
Contact us at Barkman and Smith Physical Therapy in Bedford & Fort Worth, for Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation. You will receive a comprehensive assessment to determine how to customize a physical therapy recovery plan tailored specifically for you.
Our physical therapist and assistants are prepared through education and experience to help you recover from your vertigo, dizziness, and balance problems!
BalanceTrak® in Bedford & Fort Worth TX
According to the CDC, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States and 20% to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries. Our physical therapists can help in risk reduction and prevention of falls for residents in Bedford & Fort Worth TX.
BalanceTrak® is a program providing a safe way to improve balance, stability, coordination, and walking ability. BalanceTrak® oftentimes utilizes an overhead suspension system we developed to further improve safety in the clinic.
Overhead suspension has several benefits:
- Eliminates the Fear of Falling;
- Boosts Confidence;
- Challenges Patients with Advance Movements;
- Creates a Safe Environment for Balance, Strength and Gait Training;
- Complete Safety From Fall Related Injuries.
We are currently gathering research data on our BalanceTrak® program. The preliminary results are very promising! Balance impairments have decreased from 61% to 22%. This indicates a 40% less chance of falling based on standardized test scores. Patients who complete our BalanceTrak® program report they feel more safe and confident at home and in the community.
If you have questions regarding BalanceTrak® program or would like to see our overhead suspension system, please contact us.
See other services of our clinic that may be of interest to you:
BALANCE YOUR LIFE!