Dizziness is one of the most common reasons to seek medical care in The US. There are over 8 million visits to primary care physicians in the United States per year due to complaints of dizziness. There are many reasons that a person may feel dizzy. Once the cause has been determined (in some cases it is not known) then the individual can seek the proper care to treat the dizziness.
If the cause of dizziness is due to the inner ear or vestibular system then a physical therapist who specializes in Vestibular Rehabilitation will be part of a team that will help treat this condition. At Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City we have physical therapists with extensive training in treating vestibular disorders. The vestibular therapist's role is to identify what activities provoke the symptoms of feeling dizzy. Often times, activities such as performing chores around the house, rolling over in bed, daily work duties, and specific positions like looking up reproduce the feeling of dizziness.
Once the therapist has determined what brings on the feeling of dizziness they can start developing a treatment plan to reduce these symptoms. At first treatment may be developing specific strategies to keep the dizziness at a minimum.
The therapist will develop a specific exercise program tailored to the individual's deficits. These exercises are different and very specific to each individual's deficit. Some exercises will focus on the visual system. These exercises will improve the efficiency of the interconnections between your eyes and nervous system. Other exercise will focus on balance and helping the brain resolve faulty messages it is receiving from the vestibular organ in the inner ear.
Whether your dizziness is caused by a visual problem, a balance problem, or an inner ear problem the exercise you will be taught in physical therapy will be specific to the reason you are experiencing dizziness.
Research has shown that the sooner physical therapy is started following an insult to your vestibular system the better the outcomes. In the first few months following a vestibular deficit your body has the best opportunity to heal. Going to physical therapy during this time gives you the best chance for your vestibular system to completely recover.