What is Vestibular Rehab Therapy (VRT)?

A Vestibular Rehab Specialist is a sub-specialized physical therapist that focuses on evaluating and treating inner ear and neurological issues commonly resulting in problems with imbalance, dizziness, vertigo, or vision.

A vestibular rehab specialist is a physical therapist specializing in imbalance, vertigo, and dizziness disorders.  Dr. Valerie Johnson, PT, DPT is a vestibular therapist has experience and expertise in evaluating and treating underlying causes of imbalance, falls, and dizziness that is specific to the individual.

Dr. Valerie Johnson, PT, DPT will start by conducting a thorough interview and obtaining a comprehensive history.   Then, Valerie will perform a physical examination in order to form an accurate diagnosis. Based on the findings from the initial evaluation, Valerie will determine if you are a candidate for skilled vestibular rehab. When appropriate, Valerie prescribes specific exercises to address your individual impairments.

What is dizziness or unsteadiness?

Dizziness and unsteadiness are general terms and symptoms that may or may not indicate an inner ear problem.  These symptoms are often difficult for people do describe and symptom descriptors are vague and mean different things to different people. Many things cause dizziness and imbalance, and people experience these symptoms in a variety of ways. Dr. Valerie Johnson, PT, DPT will help you identify what kind of dizziness you are suffering from. Let’s take a look at the different forms of dizziness.

Vertigo- A sensation of motion, usually spinning of one’s self or the environment, even with eyes closed. May be associated with nausea, vomiting, and/ or imbalance. Vertigo is often caused by an inner ear problem.

Lightheadedness- A faint-like feeling often related to blood flow or heart issues, and may be a side effect of medications. Less commonly, lightheadedness may accompany an inner ear problem.

Dysequilibrium- A sense of unsteadiness or imbalance typically worse during movement or in certain environments.  Instability may be described as “drunk-like” and may be associated with aging, nausea, anxiety, or fear of falling. It is often caused by more than one underlying factor.  Any of the above symptoms may gradually worsen over time without balance therapy from a vestibular rehab specialist.

Falls- Although the risk for falling and dizziness does increase with age, falling should never be considered a normal outcome of aging.  Ask your doctor if you may benefit from balance or dizziness rehab with a vestibular physical therapist to address the underlying factors that are increasing your fall risk.

How can physical therapy help?

Due to the vast variety of symptoms and underlying factors, the cause of imbalance and dizziness is not always obvious to your primary care doctor. 

If you suffer from dizziness or unsteadiness, please contact us to schedule an evaluation.