When people think about dizziness, they often don’t consider Physical Therapy as a likely course of treatment. We here at 360 Balance & Dizziness are passionate about helping those with dizziness and balance problems.
What is the difference between dizziness and balance dysfunction?
They often go hand-in-hand. Dizziness is a sensation that you feel is inconsistent with physical reality. This could be experienced as feeling “pulled” to one side or the other, seeing the room spinning around you, feeling lightheaded, or feeling “off.” Balance dysfunction is experienced more typically as an inability to perform everyday activities without feeling like you’re going to fall, stumble, or actually fall. Imbalance may be experienced as difficulty walking across grass, inability to stop yourself when you bend forward to pick something up, or difficulty going up or downstairs to the point that you feel you need a handrail to do it safely.
How can Physical Therapy help dizziness?
Dizziness can be caused by a variety of diagnoses or variables. When you first come in for your initial evaluation with us, a Physical Therapist and/or our Audiologist will run a series of non-invasive tests (such as having you stand in different positions, testing your vibratory sense, and looking into your eyes) to determine the most likely source of your dizziness. We then tailor exercises to target your specific experience. For example, if you have vertigo (BPPV), we will bring you through a series of maneuvers to cure vertigo. If you have motion sickness, we will create a program that helps train your brain to manage dynamic visual input. If you feel dizzy only during certain actions, we can help you increase your tolerance to those actions and help strategize about how to stay safe.
How can Physical Therapy help imbalance?
Imbalance can also be due to myriad factors. Your therapy team will assess where your greatest deficiencies lie and target an exercise program to improve the balance systems most affected. If your imbalance is due to weakness in your legs, we can help improve your strength. When stairs are an issue, we can help train you to ascend and descend them safely. Inability to sense or control your center of gravity can be improved with specific exercises. Postural training will help improve balance. Walking training will make you safer when you’re out and about!
If you’re suffering from dizziness or imbalance, we at 360 Balance & Dizziness would love the opportunity to get your life back on track. We’ll work with you to make sure that you regain as much of your previous level of function as possible.