Disorders of the vestibular system (inner ear) can cause dizziness, vertigo and problems with balance and walking. Dizziness and balance problems affect approximately 50% of all adults at some time. They are especially common after whiplash or concussion injury sustained in car accidents,sports injuries and falls. Secondary problems often arise in the body due to the inactivity and increased muscle tension that result from the discomfort and fear of moving that the dizziness brings about.
Vestibular rehabilitation is focused on assessing the vestibular system and musculoskeletal system to determine what the cause of the dizziness, vertigo, or balance issue is. The findings from this assessment will direct the correct form of treatment for the problem.
Common causes of dizziness are:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Vestibular- specific system disorders
- Neurological dysfunctions such as MS or stroke
- Visual deficits
It is important to see your doctor to rule out the more serious causes of dizziness prior to starting vestibular rehabilitation.
Vestibular disorders can be caused by:
- Head injuries such as whiplash or concussion
- Vestibular system degeneration
- Ear infections
- Acoustic neuroma
- Vascular insufficiency
- Ototoxicity (high dosage or long term use of certain antibiotics)
Common symptoms include:
- Vertigo: the illusion of movement of your self or the environment.
- As sense of rocking or swaying
- Motion sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ossillopsia or the feeling of visual motion that happens when your eyes are open
- Vertical diplopia or the sensation of seeing double with the 2 images lined up vertically