What is Vestibular Dysfunction?
The main symptoms are vertigo, dizziness and imbalance. These symptoms often lead to physical, emotional and cognitive challenges which can include depression and anxiety. Many patients find they have difficulty performing activities of daily living. Cognitive abilities can be impacted as symptoms progress.
Vestibular/balance rehabilitation assists individuals who are experiencing difficulties with balance or dizziness in improving function and preventing falls by thoroughly evaluating each individual’s needs and providing a treatment plan to address their specific concerns.
What causes dizziness?
A variety of central and peripheral neurologic and orthopaedic diagnoses can contribute to dizziness and imbalance and may be effectively treated through vestibular/balance rehab.
• Falls or vehicle accidents
• Effects of aging
• Inner ear disorders (e.g., benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, ototoxicity, labyrinthitis)
• Brain injury and post-concussion syndrome
• Stroke and other neurologic conditions
• Vertigo and disequilibrium
• Motion sensitivity
• Orthopaedic injuries and conditions
• Heart conditions
How can Physical Therapy help?
Vestibular Therapy can help patients restore function, control symptoms, and improve quality of life. A thorough evaluation with a vestibular therapist involves an assessment of pertinent vestibular and neuromuscular system functions, including strength, range of motion, coordination and balance, head and eye movements, mobility, and risk for falls. The physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan and a home exercise program to decrease dizziness symptoms and address musculoskeletal or neuromuscular problems that affect balance. Vestibular/balance rehab may also include gait training with an appropriate assistive device, patient education regarding safe home mobility, as well as other therapeutic exercises and activities.
We offer Vestibular Rehabilitation services at our Upper West Side and Midtown East locations
Upper West Side 248 West 80th Street, 5th Floor New York, NY 10024 Phone: 212-874-1550 Fax: 212-874-1599 Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Midtown East 575 Lexington Avenue (at 51st St) New York, NY 10022 Phone: 212-371-7869 Fax: 212-755-2030 Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
For more information, please contact: Elizabeth Lamontagne: or Nina Kansagra:
Physical therapy is most often used after an injury or fall, but can be used to treat a variety of conditions; such as, cancer, incontinence, Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis, and balance issues. Often times, many seniors go to physical therapy after an injury, when in fact, they could greatly benefit from physical therapy prior to an injury or to treat a pre-existing condition.
Adults aged 65 years and older are at the greatest risk for debilitating falls. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in three adults are expected to fall in a given year. As we age, muscle strength and flexibility declines, which leads to less activity. This becomes a cyclical problem – the less we move, the more we lose flexibility and strength. Balance can also impacted and is a major contributor to falls risk. As John Wilbert, Director of our Flatiron District facility explains in this article, physical therapy is an important part of most treatment plans for the senior population and can enhance quality of life.
Physical therapy can improve balance, increase strength, and build bone mass. For patients with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, a physical therapist can teach a patient how to handle simple activities of daily living and minimize the effects of the disorder on their life. With incontinence issues, a PT can work on the pelvic floor muscles and for osteoarthritis, physical therapy can alleviate some pain and help improve instability within a joint, especially for those unable to undergo surgery. If patient needs a walking device, a physical therapist can teach a patient how to use a device, especially if it is on their non-dominant side.
Several studies show the benefits of physical therapy in treating various forms of cancer. Massage, lymphatic drainage, postural exercises, and walking have all benefited patients with head, neck and breast cancers. Even Alzheimer’s patients can benefit from physical therapy.
Physical therapy should be considered as part of an on-going plan for seniors, ages 65 years and older to help prevent disability and injury. Our New York City Grand Central location has a comprehensive Falls Risk Prevention program. For more information, please contact or (212) 953-9494.