Do you suffer from Vertigo/ Dizziness or other vestibular disorders?
Book an appointment with Quinn Turner
What is Vestibular system?
The vestibular system in the inner ear is essential for balance, posture, and coordination. It integrates the movements of your head with the movements of your eye, and provides the brain with information regarding body position. When this system isn’t working properly, the brain becomes confused about head and body position, causing a range of symptoms including dizziness, nausea, and loss of balance or coordination.
The two main structures making up the vestibular system are the semicircular canals and the otolith organs. The semicircular canals are filled with fluid that moves around when your head moves, sensing acceleration and rotation of the head. There are three of these canals, one for each plane of head movement. The otolith organs are sensitive to gravity, and are responsible for sensing head position and tilt.
The vestibular system is also responsible for something called the vestibulo-ocular reflex, which moves the eyes during movements of the head to provide a constant image. When the head moves to the right, for example, the eyes move to the left so you are still looking straight ahead.
What is Vestibular physiotherapy?
Vestibular physiotherapy is a technique used by physiotherapists to rehabilitate people with concussions suffering from vestibular dysfunction. This method of physiotherapy uses head manoeuvres along with other techniques to retrain the vestibular system and get it working properly.
Part of this process involves rehabilitating the vestibulo-ocular reflex, coordinating the movements of the eyes with the movements of the head again. During this process physiotherapists may also work on your balance or coordination and your ability to focus. The head manoeuvres used by physiotherapists are designed to observe which head movements cause an onset of symptoms and when, the physiotherapist will perform interventions to slowly retrain the vestibular system.
What can cause Vestibular disorders??
During a concussion or another type of traumatic brain injury, it is possible for the vestibular system to become injured. When this happens, the body’s sense of equilibrium and balance is disrupted, and this can cause a range of symptoms that are associated with a concussion.
Whiplash and blows to the head are common causes of vestibular disorders in people under 50 years of age. Exposure to sudden or significant pressure changes, as occur during scuba diving or rapid descent or ascent in an aircraft, can injure the ear. Advancing age can also change the vestibular system and result in imbalance, increasing fall risk.
When the vestibular system is not working properly, it sends abnormal signals to the brain about the body’s and head’s positioning and movement. This can cause feelings of dizziness, nausea, and loss of balance from the body not being aware of where it is in space.
If you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, think you might have a concussion, or would like to speak to one of our physios about this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, book an appointment online, or call us at 604-983-6616.