Teton PT: Vestibular Rehab

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OUTPATIENT REHAB CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEVELOP INDEPENDENCE SPEECH THERAPY COMMUNICATION & MORE PHYSICAL THERAPY INCREASE PERFORMANCE

VESTIBULAR REHAB

Oneof themostcommonconcerns inpatientswith dizziness and vertigo who complete a vestibular rehabilitation program is, “Will my results last?” Researchsuggeststhat,withtheproperpost-therpay exercise, patients who successfully complete vestibular rehab will maintain their positive results long after leaving a physical therapist’s office. What Happens Next? The aim of vestibular rehab is to improve function and balance while reducing dizziness. This is especially important in older patients who already bear a higher risk of falls as a result of age-related neuropathy, vestibular dysfunction and a host of other conditions. As a result, those who have experienced a positive outcome as a result of vestibular rehab are often reluctant to leave thecareof clinicians.Toassuage this anxiety and extend the outcome of rehab, physical therapists will often prescribe a home- basedexerciseprogram 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 exercise program to

determine which mode helped patients preserve function, reduced dizziness and improved the patient’s quality of life. Patient compliance was equivalent in both modes and patients achieved no noticeable differences 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,patientswhoareexperiencingdizziness andvertigowillnotexperience improvementwithout intervention.This isespeciallytrue inelderlypatients whose functionaloutcomesarevital to theirquality of life. Vestibular rehabilitation as performed by a physical therapist is the most effective way of providing these outcomes and a home-based exerciseprogramuponreleasefromphysicaltherapy is the best way to maintain them over time. Now is the time to consider physical therapy for elderly patients 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.

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