Balance & Vestibular Rehabilitation

Restore your balance and avoid dangerous falls with help from our expert physical therapists and audiologists

Balance is your body’s ability to stay upright and steady. Without balance, you can trip and fall more than normal, and may be seriously hurt.

If you feel unsteady or are falling more often, it’s time to get your balance and vestibular (inner ear) system checked.

Physical therapists and audiologists assess your strength and endurance, and check for problems with your inner ears, vision, and your body’s internal sense of space (called “proprioception”).

With a combination of hands-on, clinical tests and advanced technology, your therapists will work with you to identify the cause of your balance problem.

Once a diagnosis is made, you’ll work as a team to create an individualized treatment plan. Treatment may include physical therapy, vestibular rehab, changes to your home environment or more advanced techniques. The goal of vestibular rehab is to help you improve your strength and balance so you can feel confident in getting back to your daily routines.

What to Expect with Balance & Vestibular Rehabilitation

Physical therapists and audiologists assess your strength and endurance, and check for problems with your inner ears, vision, and your body’s internal sense of space (called “proprioception”).

With a combination of hands-on, clinical tests and advanced technology, your therapists will work with you to identify the cause of your balance problem.

Once a diagnosis is made, you’ll work as a team to create an individualized treatment plan. Treatment may include physical therapy, vestibular rehab, changes to your home environment or more advanced techniques. The goal of vestibular rehab is to help you improve your strength and balance so you can feel confident in getting back to your daily routines.

Ron's Story: Hearing Loss and Vertigo

Acute Labrynthitis (Hearing Loss and Vertigo)

You’ll start with routine screening. Based on this assessment, your therapist will help you determine if further treatment is necessary, or if home safety strategies will be enough to prevent future falls.

Your therapist may recommend having a friend or family member help you look for fall hazards at home. Careful furniture and rug placement can help decrease your risk of injury. Turning on lights at night is another simple way to prevent falls. If needed, we will also help you with assistive devices like walkers, canes or grab bars.

Understanding Therapy Options

Your treatment is personalized to your specific needs, and may include traditional physical therapy. It may also include:

  • Neurocom Balance Master. This computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) device helps your therapists identify the source of most balance disturbances. The Balance Master may also be part of your ongoing treatment, alone or combined with traditional therapy.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation. If inner ear dysfunction is contributing to your balance problems, vestibular rehab can help. Positional maneuvering and exercises are used to treat vestibular conditions like vertigo.
  • Vestibular diagnostic testing. If you need diagnostic measures beyond traditional physical therapy or the Neurocom Balance Master, your therapist may refer you to the Vestibular Diagnostic Clinic. Vestibular diagnostic testing includes calorics (acoustic nerve testing), rotary chair testing and a comprehensive hearing screen.

Preparing for Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation

You’ll start with routine screening. Based on this assessment, your therapist will help you determine if further treatment is necessary, or if home safety strategies will be enough to prevent future falls.

Your therapist may recommend having a friend or family member help you look for fall hazards at home. Careful furniture and rug placement can help decrease your risk of injury. Turning on lights at night is another simple way to prevent falls. If needed, we will also help you with assistive devices like walkers, canes or grab bars.

Understanding Therapy Options

Your treatment is personalized to your specific needs, and may include traditional physical therapy. It may also include:

  • Neurocom Balance Master. This computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) device helps your therapists identify the source of most balance disturbances. The Balance Master may also be part of your ongoing treatment, alone or combined with traditional therapy.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation. If inner ear dysfunction is contributing to your balance problems, vestibular rehab can help. Positional maneuvering and exercises are used to treat vestibular conditions like vertigo.
  • Vestibular diagnostic testing. If you need diagnostic measures beyond traditional physical therapy or the Neurocom Balance Master, your therapist may refer you to the Vestibular Diagnostic Clinic. Vestibular diagnostic testing includes calorics (acoustic nerve testing), rotary chair testing and a comprehensive hearing screen.
  • What steps can I take to be safe at home?
  • Will this impact my work?
  • Can I exercise safely?
  • How long can I expect treatment to last?
  • How can I arrange for assistive devices?
  • What can I do to improve my safety and balance?

Questions to Ask Your Provider About Balance & Vestibular Rehabilitation

  • What steps can I take to be safe at home?
  • Will this impact my work?
  • Can I exercise safely?
  • How long can I expect treatment to last?
  • How can I arrange for assistive devices?
  • What can I do to improve my safety and balance?

Dec 06

From a wheelchair to a 5K

As Debra Long, secretary for Rehabilitation Services at IU Health White Memorial in Monticello, bounces around her office assisting patients, answering phones and managing schedules, it is hard to believe a few short months ago she was in a wheelchair. Full of energy, she also helps in the Emergency department, the hospital front desk and in the medical-surgical unit as needed. “Debra is a bright spot in our department,” shares Sara Phelps, supervisor of the Rehabilitation department. “One of her gifts is getting to know others and helping them to feel seen and acknowledged. She is quick to share her personal experiences with others who may have similar concerns in order to encourage them to continue to push forward and improve. She demonstrates what's possible with hard work and a positive attitude.” “I figure there are many ways I can help, so I try my best,” shares Long. The fall that lead to the wheelchair In February, Long fell in a parking lot. Her ankle hurt but she figured it was a sprain that would eventually heal. The rehabilitation team continually encouraged her to go to the doctor. After a few weeks in pain, she finally relented. An MRI showed

From a wheelchair to a 5K image.

Patient Stories for Balance & Vestibular Rehabilitation

Dec 06

From a wheelchair to a 5K

As Debra Long, secretary for Rehabilitation Services at IU Health White Memorial in Monticello, bounces around her office assisting patients, answering phones and managing schedules, it is hard to believe a few short months ago she was in a wheelchair. Full of energy, she also helps in the Emergency department, the hospital front desk and in the medical-surgical unit as needed. “Debra is a bright spot in our department,” shares Sara Phelps, supervisor of the Rehabilitation department. “One of her gifts is getting to know others and helping them to feel seen and acknowledged. She is quick to share her personal experiences with others who may have similar concerns in order to encourage them to continue to push forward and improve. She demonstrates what's possible with hard work and a positive attitude.” “I figure there are many ways I can help, so I try my best,” shares Long. The fall that lead to the wheelchair In February, Long fell in a parking lot. Her ankle hurt but she figured it was a sprain that would eventually heal. The rehabilitation team continually encouraged her to go to the doctor. After a few weeks in pain, she finally relented. An MRI showed

From a wheelchair to a 5K image.

Medline Plus

This site of the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains how physical medicine and rehabilitation can help you recover after a medical condition or injury.

Resources

Medline Plus

This site of the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains how physical medicine and rehabilitation can help you recover after a medical condition or injury.