One study estimates that as much as 35% of Americans over 40 have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. Many of these people experience dizziness or imbalance temporarily due to a virus or some other short term condition. Unfortunately many others have to deal with varying amounts of vertigo or balance issues on a regular basis.
Deciding whether therapy is needed for in a particular situation can be confusing. Some conditions may seem too trivial to warrant the time spent to develop appropriate therapy, others may seem beyond the scope of practicality. Understanding the possible benefits of vestibular rehabilitation may be the game changer in either situation.
When determining the need for therapy, one should determine the risk factors involved.
- Do you have episodes while driving?
- Do you have stairs at home or at work?
- Do you have moments of disorientation?
- Have you fallen due to episodes of dizziness or imbalance?
- Do you care for yourself or for small children?
These are a few things that might warrant a need for rehabilitation. Even though episodes may not be frequent, knowing how to deal safely with the moment could mean the difference between life and death.
After a therapist determines the cause of one’s condition, they will design an individual treatment plan to help that person function at their highest capability. Along with some practical help such as proper footwear and removing hazards in the home, they will develop routine exercises to tackle the most critical scenarios. This can be one or more of the following:
- Reduce fear of falling
- Improve mobility, balance, strength, movement, flexibility or posture
- Increase activity levels
Many times the simplest improvement in a person’s current situation can inspire them to reach the next plateau in what may have seemed like an endless downward spiral.
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