Struggling with dizziness and imbalance? You may benefit from balance therapy, which is offered as part of our vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy service at London Ear Centre’s East London clinic. Explore the potential signs of balance impairment.
Living with balance impairment can significantly impact your quality of life, making everyday tasks such as walking, seeing clearly, and even getting out of bed more difficult. As a result, you may experience anxiety, confusion, and nausea, preventing you from going about your day-to-day life. However, balance rehabilitation may help with this.
What Is Vestibular & Balance Rehabilitation Therapy?
Vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy is a customised, patient-oriented physiotherapy programme, designed by our Specialist Neuro-physiotherapist to meet your specific balance therapy needs. This type of therapy can help to speed up the rate at which you can return to a normal level of functioning, by reducing the symptoms that prevent you from living your life the way you want.
Balance rehabilitation therapy is designed to help reduce feelings of dizziness and imbalance by facilitating central nervous system compensation, strengthening and mobilising the musculo-skeletal system, and helping to de-stress your body via relaxation techniques.
Vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy also focuses on holistic wellness and overall health, which can help to reduce other symptoms and/or medical conditions that might be contributing to your balance disorder.
During your initial balance rehabilitation session, your symptoms will be evaluated, and you will be assessed on some or all of the following areas as appropriate:
- Visual stability and mobility
- Balance and/or leg strength/flexibility
- Neck mobility and neck and arm strength
- Positional testing
A plan of care for your balance therapy, including balance rehabilitation exercises will then be devised based on our findings. The goal of your treatment plan is to improve any deficits that are identified, which will improve your ability to function in everyday activities, reduce your risk of falling, and ultimately improve your quality of life.
It is normal that you attend multiple balance rehabilitation sessions to ensure that progress is being made, and balance rehabilitation exercises are adapted as your symptoms improve. Although rates of recovery from balance disorders may vary based on your diagnosis, severity of symptoms, and response to therapy, your symptoms and overall sense of balance will certainly improve by the end of your vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy programme - often to the point where you’re completely asymptomatic and feel back to your usual self.
Balance therapy can help to prevent falls in older people. Figures indicate that around one-third of adults over the age of 65 will have at least one fall a year, with half having more frequent falls.
Falls represent a major health hazard and are a growing public health concern, as they are the most common mechanism of injury, and the leading cause of death from injury in this age group, but balance therapy may help to lower some of this risk.
Our falls prevention clinic aims to reduce the risk of you having a fall in the first place, or subsequent falls following an initial incident.
As part of this balance rehabilitation programme, you’ll undergo a falls assessment, which will include the following where appropriate:
- A detailed clinical assessment on falls risk, provided by both a Consultant Audiologist and Specialist Neuro-physiotherapist experienced in falls prevention
- Assessment and provision of relevant aids and adaptations
- A tailored treatment programme that’s designed to improve your strength and balance, and to improve your confidence to get out and about
- Direct liaison with other healthcare professionals, such as GPs, nurses, and occupational therapists
- A home exercise programme provided on an individual basis
- A home assessment relating to falls prevention
Balance rehabilitation may also benefit people who have suffered a concussion. Millions of people every year suffer from concussions, which are considered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other forms of head trauma as a result of high-impact sports injury, falls, or road vehicle accidents. Signs of concussion can include:
- Difficulty with balance or dizziness
- Feeling of spinning or wavy movement, motion sensitivity, and unsteadiness
- Difficulty with focus, vision, headaches, or reading
- Difficulty with dynamic movement, sports, or busy environments
- Confusion or drowsiness
Head impact injuries can leave your sense of balance and spatial orientation feeling disturbed, affecting your participation in sports, work, and everyday activities. What’s more, once you’ve sustained a concussion, you’re at higher risk of an additional repeated episode, particularly if you’re an athlete. However, balance rehabilitation may help with resetting your balance and potentially reducing this risk.
Through a comprehensive evaluation process, our expert vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy team will provide you with information regarding your status, progress, and ability to resume work or play following a concussion.
Our evaluation protocols used are supported by the latest research and best evidence-based practice. We also offer customised balance rehabilitation programmes for athletes considering return to play and for those with persistent symptoms following a concussion.