Exercises Used In Vestibular Therapy That Can Help Your Inner Ear

Posted on: 12 September 2016

Do you suffer from vertigo or dizziness when you stand? Do you sometimes feel off balance when you are walking? You could have an inner ear, or vestibular, disorder. This is problem that harms the delicate system in your inner ear that controls your balance, and it can get worse over time. Vestibular physical therapy helps patients by reducing symptoms and training the brain to compensate for the disorder. Here are a variety of therapies you might encounter when being treated for a vestibular disorder. 

Balance 

If you have a vestibular disorder, keeping balance can be very challenging. As a result, you may have severely limited your activities and become more sedentary. If this is the case, balance exercises can help improve your ability to complete certain tasks and even to walk across a room without feeling unsteady or falling. 

Balance exercises can be as simple as standing still for short intervals of time and as complicated as attempting to complete an activity while walking, turning or reaching out. It may also involve standing on an uneven surface like a foam block or a springboard. 

Habituation

Sometimes people with inner ear disorders experience dizziness when they turn their heads quickly or are overwhelmed by visual stimuli. Habituation exercises involve completing a series of movements beginning with a simple turning of the head. The idea is that repeated exposure to the movements that make you dizzy will eventually cause your brain to stop reacting to the mistaken perception that you are off balance, and your dizziness will decrease. 

Gaze Stabilization

If your vestibular disorder causes your vision to become unfocused or if what you see moves around in front of you, you may benefit from gaze stabilization exercises. These involve movements like staring at one object while you slowly move your head. This type of movement trains your brain to allow your eyes to focus. 

Vision Dependence

You may be overusing your visual senses because of your lack of balance. A physical therapist may purposely reduce your ability to see in order to stimulate your brain to compensate for the missing information. 

Ocular Tracking

This type of therapy involves using your eyes to track an object that is moving in the opposite direction as your head. This is meant to stimulate your brain's ability to track and focus on objects while your head is moving. 

If you believe that you are suffering from an inner ear disorder, consult your doctor. You may find that vestibular physical therapy can work for you. 

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