What is vestibular rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized approach to physiotherapy that can help people with dizziness, loss of balance and / or vertigo, caused by a problem in the vestibular system (including the inner ear).

The physiotherapist evaluates the functioning of the vestibular system by performing tests, maneuvers and / or the use of devices in order to find the cause of the problem. Then, he (she) uses the appropriate techniques and teaches adapted exercises for the identified problem in order to reduce the intensity and frequency of vertigo, dizziness and loss of balance.

What are the problems that can be treated with this rehabilitation?

Dizziness and light-headedness can be caused by different issues:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vestibular migraine
  • Stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors …
  • Etc.

The physiotherapist specialized in this rehabilitation will perform a detailed evaluation of the cervical spine and cranio-vertebral region, of the reflexes, neurological tests, etc. This will allow the therapist to better understand the nature of the problem and to develop an appropriate treatment plan or, if necessary, refer the client to another health professional.

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Vestibular Rehabilitation and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is regularly treated with this rehabilitation. BPPV is undoubtedly the main cause for vertigo, affecting twice as many women as men. It occurs in specific situations. For example, when one turns around in bed or raises his head quickly after a shampoo at the salon. It usually lasts about 30 seconds and can be easily reproduced in the doctor’s office by moving the head in a particular way.

BPPV is caused by detached calcium carbonate particles in the inner ear that end up in the wrong section of the vestibular system, causing vertigo. BPPV is accompanied by nystagmus (involuntary movement of the eyeball) and sometimes nausea.

Where and who to consult for vestibular rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation is offered at our Candiac branch. This service is provided by Annick Circé, physiotherapist. She has a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy from the Université de Montréal. She has also completed advanced dizziness and positional dizziness training and is interested in, among other things, the treatment of concussions.

For more information on vestibular rehabilitation, to find out if this approach is appropriate for your condition, or to make an appointment, do not hesitate to contact our Candiac branch at 450-659-7779.

Vestibular rehabilitation and particle repositioning maneuver (PRM)

To treat BPPV, the particle repositioning maneuver (PRM) is generally recommended. This maneuver can be performed by a physiotherapist specialized in vestibular rehabilitation. The physiotherapist has your head do specific movements to bring the calcium carbonate particles back to where they should be. Depending on the patient response, the duration of treatment may vary: for some, only one visit is sufficient, while for others several visits are necessary.


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