If you are suffering from dizziness, wooziness, light-headedness or unsteadiness then you are not alone. It has been estimated that 65% of individuals over the age of 60 experience dizziness or loss of balance on a regular basis, and vestibular problems account for one third patients reporting to doctors with symptoms of vertigo and dizziness.1, 2 In fact, recent research out of Johns Hopkins University suggests that as many as 35% of adults over the age of 40 in the United States (i.e., 69 million Americans) have some form of vestibular dysfunction as measured by a postural balance test.3
Dizziness can result in an inability to work, leave the house, walk, or stand. It also contributes to falls and severe injuries. Physiotherapy and vestibular rehabilitation as part of overall healthcare plan can help provide relief.
Physiotherapy for dizziness typically consists of vestibular rehabilitation. This is an exercised-based program to encourage the central nervous system to compensate for problems with the Vestibular apparatus
An assessment is typically carried out first to assess sensation, gather information about pain and severity, muscle strength, range of motion, posture, balance, coordination, and general abilities. Once this assessment is complete, a fully customized exercise plan is created aiming at decreasing symptoms and improving the function.
The treatment model contains Balance/coordination activities to retrain body awareness, Eye and head movement exercises which reduce dizziness & Flexibility and/or strengthening exercises.
At home exercises & proper counselling are the integral part of the treatment programme.
A proper treatment model promoting a healthy lifestyle can help restore a person’s balance, mobility, and coordination. With vestibular rehabilitation, a person’s dizziness can reduce or get eliminated and they can return to their normal standard of living.
1Hobeika CP. Equilibrium and balance in the elderly. Ear Nose Throat J. August 1999; 78(8): 558–62, 565–6.
2Neuhauser HK, Radtke A, von Brevern M Et al. Burden of dizziness and vertigo in the community. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168(19):2118–2124.
3Agrawal Y, Carey JP, Della Santina CC, Schubert MC, Minor LB. Disorders of balance and vestibular function in US adults. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169(10): 938 944.