Ongoing Treatment - Whirled Foundation

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Ongoing Treatment

Your doctor is your guide to ongoing treatment, which will vary according to the underlying cause of your symptoms. However it is not uncommon to seek a second opinion.

Remember living with a Vestibular Disorders is often a journey. You may need to try various forms of management before you find the right combination of strategies that work for you.

Responses to specific treatments can vary according to individuals. If your symptoms are not responding, you should consider asking for a review of your symptoms and be prepared to trial other treatment options.

Our pages on specific Vestibular Disorders contain details on the diagnosis, tests, treatments, and lifestyle changes suggested for different types of Vestibular Disorders. Click here for more information.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

There is increasing evidence that the brain can be retrained/reprogrammed to develop new nerve pathways to maintain balance replacing those damaged. Vestibular Physiotherapy is a recognised therapy with proven results.

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) attempts to “retrain” your brain and nervous system to compensate for the abnormal signals coming from your vestibular system.

VRT is usually carried out under the supervision of a physiotherapist and involves a range of exercises designed to:

  • co-ordinate your hand and eye movements
  • stimulate sensations of dizziness so your brain starts to get used to disruptive signals sent by your vestibular system and then ignores them
  • improve your balance and walking ability
  • improve your strength and fitness

You can ask your GP to refer you to a physiotherapist or you can pay for private treatment. If you decide to see a private physiotherapist, make sure they are fully qualified and a member of a recognised body, such as the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).

Not all physiotherapists have training in VRT, so you need to make it clear you require this type of treatment before making an appointment.

Benefits of Treatment

Vestibular therapy has been shown to improve balance, gait and blurred vision (gaze control or eye-head co-ordination), prevent falls and related injuries, increase the individual’s independence and improve self-care and activities of daily living thus ameliorating the disabling and hidden effects of vestibular impairment and thereby preventing or minimising vestibular disability. In turn the patient’s  confidence and self-esteem improve and similarly independence, interaction with family, friends and colleagues, job performance, recreational activities and overall quality of life.

In general, the Vestibular therapist designs, progresses and modifies the vestibular rehabilitation programme, commencing very gently to re-programme the balance system. Patients progress and work at their own pace. Muscle strength, joint pain and stiffness are treated too. After several visits to the therapist, in conjunction with a structured home exercise programme, patients are steadier and their dizziness has either diminished or no longer persists.

The therapist corrects head and neck posture, treats joint pain and muscle spasm and implements muscle strengthening exercises when indicated. More often than not, patients continue with a long-term maintenance exercise programme, independently, and are reviewed on an as need basis. They are counselled to maintain their level of balance, muscle strength, cardiac fitness and correct posture, especially of the head, neck and shoulders and other physical activities such as bowling, walking, bushwalking, golf and dancing.

Information sourced from “Understanding Meniere’s Disease”, Edited by Lynn Polson.

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

Click here to read Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

Helpful Tips

A key benefit of taking out membership of Whirled Foundation is that you gain access to a wealth of information and the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others with your condition and symptoms.

Our Need Help and Living with Vertigo pages provide helpful information.

Our 6 STEP ACTION PLAN on living with a Vestibular disorder can guide you through your journey.

 

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Whirled Foundation membership has great benefits and puts you in touch with others living with vestibular disorders around Australia and the world.


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