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Independent Provider Of Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation Services

Vestibular Rehabilitation

What is the Vestibular System?

What is the Vestibular System?
The vestibular system is made up of the vestibular apparatus located in the inner ear and the areas of the brain that process this information. The vestibular system is essential for maintaining balance and gaze stability.

What is a Vestibular Disorder?

When a part of the vestibular system is affected by a condition or injury, it can cause symptoms of dizziness, vertigo (spinning sensation), visual disturbance, nausea, motion sensitivity, disequilibrium and/or imbalance. These symptoms can vary in severity, but may be severe and distressing in nature. As such, people with vestibular disorders often avoid activities which they have found to be provocative, leading to a cycle of reduced participation in everyday life. This can affect all aspects of home, work and social participation, causing reduced independence, changes in mood and reduced quality of life.

What is Vestibular Physiotherapy?

Vestibular Physiotherapy is a specialist area of physiotherapy aimed at reducing the primary symptoms of vestibular disorders and helping to improve the understanding of why the symptoms have persisted.  Treatment will also aim to reduce any secondary issues that may occur (reduced mobility, weakness, stiffness and reduced confidence) with the aim of returning to normal activities of daily living.
Vestibular Physiotherapy will comprise of a subjective assessment to gain a thorough understanding of the onset, course and nature of the symptoms. This will be followed by an examination looking at eye and head movements, positional testing, standing, walking and balance.
A personalised treatment program will be devised that will depend on the assessment findings and the individual’s goals. This will usually include exercises to complete at home. 
Some of the exercises and activities involved in vestibular rehabilitation can bring on symptoms as the body and brain relearn and adjust to the movement patterns. Evidence shows a reduction in symptoms and increase in function if these exercises are performed correctly and regularly in a gradual and supported manner.

Hobbs Rehabilitation Vestibular and Balance Service

A comprehensive multidisciplinary approach encompassing physiotherapy, neuropsychology, occupational therapy and working in collaboration with other medical professionals such as the Neurological Consultant.  Each clinician has brain injury expertise and balance is multifaceted; the vestibular system, the visual system and the musculoskeletal system are all crucial parts. The vestibular system is an area that is often overlooked in balance retraining.  

The service takes a holistic approach with a thorough bedside assessment to establish what the provoking factors are and the development of a rehab programme encompassing bespoke and graded exercises tailored to functional retraining targeted at the individuals’ skill (for example tennis/sailing/hockey/riding).  Gradual exposure to provocative sensory stimuli will retrain, desensitise and normalise the responses.

Therapists are able to complete treatment manoeuvres where appropriate such as those required to treat BPPV and importantly, a major factor in the service is to empower the patient via education and understanding of the symptoms, recognising the triggers early and on how to manage them so that the person can effectively work towards returning to their usual activities where appropriate. 

The service at Hobbs Rehabilitation comprises experienced neurological physiotherapists who have completed further training in assessing and treating people with vestibular disorders. They are based at Hobbs South East in Liss.
If you would like to discuss your condition and whether our service can help, please call 01730 890072 and we would be happy to talk to you.

 Some common conditions that can be helped by vestibular rehabilitation

Inner ear conditions

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis

Acoustic neuroma/vestibular schwannoma

Bilateral vestibular hypofunction

Ménières Disease

Neurological causes

Multiple Sclerosis

Stroke

Traumatic brain injury

Vestibular migraine

Persistent concussion symptoms

Other

Age related dizziness and imbalance

Mal de Debarquement

Multisensory causes

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

Visually induced dizziness

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