Rehabilitation for Balance and Vestibular Disorders through Physiotherapy

Understanding Balance and Vestibular Disorders

Living with balance and vestibular disorders can be challenging, affecting many individuals’ daily lives and overall well-being. Below is an article on the complexities of these disorders and help shed some light on how physiotherapy can help in the journey to regain stability and vitality.

The Role of the Vestibular System in Maintaining Balance

The vestibular system plays a crucial role in our ability to maintain balance. From detecting head movements to coordinating eye and body movements, understanding the vestibular system’s functions is key to comprehending the challenges faced by those with vestibular disorders.

The Impact on Daily Life and Mental Well-being

Balance disorders can extend beyond physical implications, affecting mental well-being and overall quality of life.  There are many day-to-day challenges faced by individuals with these disorders, emphasising the importance of addressing both the physical and psychological aspects to achieve comprehensive well-being.  It is important to note that not all Balance Disorders are due to a Vestibular dysfunction.  Conditions that can cause problems with balance include those with a cardiac cause (symptoms may include light-headedness and fainting), neurological, such as stroke and some brain diseases, postural hypotension, nerve damage to legs, joint, muscle and vision problems.  Loss of balance is more frequent in older people as often they have muscle imbalances or generalised weakness that prevents steady ambulation.  Unsteadiness may also arise as a side effect of some types or medication or interactions between medicines.  It is important to discuss any symptoms with the GP and pharmacist particularly if the loss of balance is of sudden onset and new medication has recently been prescribed. 

Specialist assessment for problems with balance

Specialist physiotherapists can identify possible causes of balance problems, through gathering a detailed history of symptoms and looking for signs that will help with diagnosis. 

Vestibular assessment will include looking at range of movement in the neck and movements of the eyes when tracking an object.  Standing assessment is also important, looking at sway and the ability to stand on one leg. 

Gait is analysed and muscle strength and joint range may be measured.  Some specific tests may be carried out using a stopwatch or reaching forward when standing. These tests give valuable pointers towards the likely origin of the symptoms.  Looking at how the person performs functional tasks in their own home is also valuable and may help with rehabilitation goals.

Tailored Treatment Plans for Balance and Vestibular Disorders

Once the likely causes of dysfunction are clarified, the physiotherapist will formulate a tailored treatment plan for the patient.  They may suggest forward referral to other specialists for further assessment and testing if the presentation is complex or medical pathology is suspected. 

The treatment plans will offer guidance as to how to keep safe in case of dizzy spells to diminish the risk of falls, but also provide a graded exercise plan initially focussing on small and easy to achieve goals, then progressing exercise difficulty so as to gain confidence in balance both indoors and outdoors.

Hands-on techniques, such as manual therapy, may also be used to address musculoskeletal issues contributing to the imbalance.  Throughout the session, our physiotherapist will help educate the patient on their condition, empowering them with knowledge on how to manage symptoms and integrate beneficial exercises into their daily routine. This comprehensive approach ensures that individuals receive not only immediate relief but also the tools to thrive in their journey towards improved balance and vestibular function.

Enhancing Functional Independence and Quality of Life

Beyond the immediate goal of balance restoration, physiotherapy also aims to enhance functional independence and overall quality of life. Through a combination of exercises, lifestyle adjustments, and education, individuals can learn to navigate their surroundings with increased confidence, promoting a sense of empowerment and resilience.

Embracing a Balanced Future with Physiotherapy

In conclusion, this blog highlights the potential of physiotherapy and how it can help individuals not only regain their balance but thrive if faced with a vestibular disorder. By understanding the foundations of these conditions and embracing a personalised, holistic approach to rehabilitation, we can help you pave the way for a more stable and fulfilling future.

Please call us on 0330 335 1016 for more information on how we can help you in your recovery or please use the contact sheet and we will get back to you.

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Why choose Home Physio Group?

We are a dedicated team of Chartered Physiotherapists working exclusively in your home and providing the highest level of care. We recognise the importance of knowing that you are in safe hands and being looked after. With this is mind, our client management team are here to assist you every step of the way and will answer any questions you may have. We are passionate about helping you to reach your goals, relieve your pain, and improve your mobility.

The benefits of using our service include:

  • All our physiotherapists are hand-picked professionals with years of experience
  • We are registered with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). All our physiotherapists are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 
  • We will arrange visits in your own home (or care home or place of work) at a convenient time to you
  • We work at speed and do not have a waiting list
  • We offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments
  • Our team work closely with the country’s leading consultants and specialists in their field
  • You will always have the same physiotherapist visiting you at home
  • You can have as many visits as you require
  • Our fixed pricing structure can be provided in writing so that you can consider it in your own time
  • We believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to care. Your personalised programme and treatment strategy will be unique to you