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Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation

If you feel dizzy or have problems with balance, it is more likely that you may trip or fall and possibly be injured. It is important to know that falling is not normal. When a healthy individual trips or stumbles, they will usually catch themselves. When falls begin to happen more and more often, it’s time for a balance and vestibular evaluation. 

Healthy balance requires adequate strength, endurance, and proper functioning of the vestibular (inner ear) system, proprioceptive and vision systems. A decrease in function of any of these systems may result in impaired balance. As experts in balance and vestibular disorders, the team of physical therapists and audiologists at Indiana University Health work to identify the precise cause of your symptoms and develop an appropriate and effective treatment plan. 

Balance and Vestibular disorders may be addressed in many ways. Typically, a balance and/or vestibular evaluation is performed with a physical therapist using a combination of hands-on techniques and clinical tests and measures. Therapists may also use computerized methods that allow us to precisely identify the root cause of balance and vestibular impairments and begin treating the problem right away. Incorporating advanced technology, when needed, not only saves time but also enables us to provide you with a more effective and efficient treatment plan. Through individualized assessment and intervention, therapists at IU Health help you increase your strength and balance to improve your function and assist you in returning to your normal daily routine.

How We Can Help

Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation Treatment Information

Environmental strategies. Based on the outcome of your comprehensive balance and vestibular assessment, our therapists will discuss and recommend strategies for a safer home environment. These simple steps, such as furniture placement, moving rugs to prevent falls, and turning on lights at night can significantly decrease the chances of future falls. If needed, we will also recommend and help you locate assistive devices, such as walkers, canes or grab bars.

Routine Screening. Patients who have experienced dizziness, a disturbance in their balance, or are beginning to experience falls may contact IU Health Rehabilitation Services to schedule a Balance and Vestibular evaluation. Based on the assessment, your therapist will help you determine if further treatment is necessary, or if environmental strategies will be sufficient in preventing future falls. 

Neurocom Smart Equi-Test Balance Master. Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) allows therapists at select IU Health Rehabilitation clinics to gain a more thorough and objective measure of balance and/or vestibular impairments. Combined with the expert knowledge of our clinical staff, a CDP allows our therapists to quickly and accurately pin-point the origin of most balance disturbances. Following a CDP, your therapists may recommend traditional therapy, continued use of the Neurocom Balance Master, or a combination of the two.

Vestibular Rehabilitation. Vestibular Rehabilitation focuses on a particular area of dysfunction that contributes to balance issues and dizziness: the inner ear. Therapists at IU Health Rehabilitation Services identify the cause of vestibular dysfunction and use positional maneuvering or prescribe exercises to help vestibular conditions like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), one of the most common causes of vertigo, which involves a spinning sensation. 

Vestibular Diagnostic Testing. At the Indiana University Health Neuroscience Center, Physical Therapists and Audiologists work together within Ear, Nose & Throat to conduct an advanced Vestibular Diagnostic Clinic. This clinic is designed for patients who need additional diagnositc measures beyond traditional physical therapy and/or a CDP. Vestibular Diagnostic testing includes the use of calorics, rotary chair testing and a comprehensive hearing screen. Patients can be referred to the Vestibular Diagnostic Clinic through their Physical Therapist.

Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation Support Services

Learn more about occupational therapy through the following resources:

Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation Rehabilitation Locations

LifeWorks – Michigan City
3777 N. Frontage Rd.
Michigan City, IN 46360

IU Health Ball Memorial Outpatient Rehab Center
3300 West Community Drive
Muncie, IN 47304

IU Health Saxony Hospital Adult Outpatient Services
13100 E. 136th Street, Suite 2100
Fishers, IN 46037
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IU Health Neuroscience Center – Neurorehabilitation and Robotics
355 W. 16th Street, Suite 1800 Room 1078
Indianapolis, IN 46202
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IU Health Methodist Professional Center
1801 N. Senate Blvd., Suite 1438
Indianapolis, IN 46202
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Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation Patient Stories