EXCLUSIVE: GAINING LASTING RESULTS FROM VESTIBULAR REHAB
• Do you have poor balance? • Do you have difficulty climbing down stairs? • Do you suffer from any dizziness? If you suffer from poor balance when you do normal everyday activities, then there is help with the proper treatment plan to get your mobility back!
Maintaining Results After Vestibular Rehabilitation
One of the most common concerns in patients with dizziness and vertigo who complete a vestibular rehabilitation program is, “Will my results last?” Researchsuggests that,with theproperpost-therapyexercise,patientswho successfully complete vestibular rehab will maintain their positive results long after leaving a physical therapist’s office. What Happens Next? Theaimofvestibular rehab is to improve functionand balancewhilereducingdizziness.This isespecially important inolderpatients who already bear a higher risk of falls as a result of age-related neuropathy, vestibulardysfunctionandahostofotherconditions.Asa result, thosewho haveexperiencedapositiveoutcomeasa resultofvestibular rehabareoften reluctant to leave the care of clinicians. To assuage this anxiety and extend theoutcomeof rehab,physical therapistswilloftenprescribeahome-based exercise program that reinforces therapeutic processes. The Mode Doesn’t Matter. In a study published in Rehabilitation Research and Practice, elderly patients who completed vestibular rehabilitation were randomly assigned a print-based exercise program or a computer-based exerciseprogramtodeterminewhichmodehelpedpatientspreservefunction, reduceddizzinessand improvedthepatient’squalityof life.Patientcompliance wasequivalent inbothmodesandpatientsachievednonoticeabledifferences in outcomes. What researchers did observe was that an at-home exercise program is vital to the patient’s quality of life three months after being discharged from the hospital or other therapeutic setting. Patient Outcomes Don’t Improve On Their Own. Bottom line, patients who are experiencing dizziness and vertigo will not experience improvement without intervention.This isespeciallytrue inelderlypatientswhosefunctional outcomesarevitaltotheirqualityof life.Vestibularrehabilitationasperformed byaphysical therapist is themosteffectivewayofproviding theseoutcomes
and a home-based exercise program upon release from physical therapy is the best way to maintain them over time. WithBalanceAwarenessWeekhappeningSeptember18-24,now is the time to consider physical therapy for those who are experiencing vertigo and dizziness. Not only will vestibular rehabilitation in particular improve their balance and gait, it will provide them with lasting results that will impact their quality of life long-term.
Source: Smaerup,Michael,etal. “TheUseofComputer-AssistedHomeExercises toPreservePhysicalFunctionafteraVestibular RehabilitationProgram:ARandomizedControlledStudy.”Rehabilitation researchandpractice2016 (2016).
Try these two movements that target the legs! If you struggle to complete these exercises, contact the clinic nearest you today to schedule an evaluation.
Balance | Forward + Backward Weight Shift. Stand near a support like a chair, in case you need it. Lean forward from the ankles. Now lean backward from the ankles. Repeat 5 times.
Balance | Hip Strategy + Lateral Reach. Stand with good posture. Reach to the side while keeping your balance. Keep knees straight. Return to start. Repeat 3 times.
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