Vestibular Rehabilitation at NHRC

What is vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is a specialized form of Physiotherapy that uses a combination of exercises and manual techniques aimed at improving the symptoms caused by problems with the vestibular system. These symptoms can include dizziness, vertigo, and trouble with balance, posture, and vision.

What is vestibular System?

The Vestibular System consists of the Peripheral Vestibular System, which is located in the inner ear, and the Central Nervous System, including the brain. The peripheral vestibular system is made up of 3 semicircular canals, 2 otolithic organs and a cranial nerve (Vestibulocochlear Nerve); this system serves to detect movements of the head. When fluid moves through the semicircular canals or the otolithic organs it causes little hair cells to bend, activating the cranial nerve, sending information to the central nervous system (brain).

What are some common vestibular conditions?

  • BPPV – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (the most common vestibular disorder)
  • Meniere’s Disease (& Endolymphatic Hydrops)
  • Motion Sensitivity
  • PPPD – Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness
  • Balance Impairments
  • Vestibular Hypofunction
  • – Vestibular Neuritis (unilateral vestibulopathy)
    – Labyrinthitis
    – Trauma/Concussion
    – Degenerative Changes
    – Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction
    – Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction

What are some common symptoms?

Dizziness - there are many different kinds of dizziness, including Off Balance, Room is Spinning, Lightheaded/faint and many more. Balance Problems, Nausea Headaches, Fear of falling and Vision Problems are some of other vestibular symptoms.
picture with goggles

Infrared Goggles

At Niagara Health & Rehab Centre, we have invested in a pair of Infrared Goggles to help with our Vestibular Assessment. The Infrared Goggles allows us to assess abnormal eye movements that may not be visible in room light.

Our vestibular system is very intricately connected with our eyes and visual system; such that problems with our vestibular system can be observed in our eyes, through abnormal eye movements called “nystagmus”. The infrared goggles will help to assess nystagmus that may be suppressed under room light.

When wearing the infrared goggles for assessment, it will be completely dark, and an infrared camera will record your eye movements. This assessment can be particularly helpful when there
is a suspicion of BPPV – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

Information gathered from the Infrared Goggles is only one small part of the Vestibular Assessment. Taking a detailed history to learn about your experience with dizziness combined with a number of physical examination techniques will help your Vestibular Physiotherapist
develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your goals.

vestibular rehab

What can you expect during your first visit at NHRC?

During the initial assessment, your Physiotherapist will take a full history, to learn more about your current symptoms and concerns, current and past medical history and experiences with dizziness. Based on the subjective history, your therapist will perform a number of physical examination techniques to help rule in and/or rule out potential causes of dizziness, which may include neurological screening, balance testing, musculoskeletal screening, and specific tests for vestibular function. The therapist will review the findings of the assessment with you to help develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your goals.

How can you prepare for your initial visit at NHRC?

  • If dizziness is your main reason for seeking Vestibular Rehabilitation, it is recommended that you bring someone with you to your appointment that can drive you home if your symptoms are temporarily increased during the assessment.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear to your appointment, as the physiotherapist may ask you to perform some movements to assess your balance.
  • Bring a list of your medications (if applicable)

Areas We Serve:

Our patients come from all across Niagara including:

Western Hill
Port Dalhousie

Insurance Covered physiotherapy, chiropractor, massage therapy. Extended Health Coverage Direct Billing Available.

Clinic Hours:

Monday 8a.m.–7p.m.
Tuesday 8a.m.–7p.m.
Wednesday 8a.m.–7p.m.
Thursday 8a.m.–7p.m.
Friday 8a.m.–6:30p.m.
Saturday 8a.m.–2p.m.
Sunday Closed