Why Physical Therapy?
As we all know, when you hit your head, other things can get injured as well! Many patients who are injured playing sports, in car accidents, or when falling, can present with injuries to many different parts of their bodies. Over the years, we have found that symptoms of neck injuries and symptoms of inner-ear injuries are very common reasons we see patients in our clinic. In fact, concussions, inner-ear injuries, and neck injuries can all present with similar, and sometimes identical symptoms! Determining which injury is causing your discomfort is the most important part of getting back to normal.
After hitting your head, feelings of dizziness can result from a peripheral vestibular disorder (a dysfunction of the inner ear) or a central vestibular disorder (a dysfunction of one or more parts of the central nervous system that help process balance and spatial information). Frequently, after hitting your head, you can experience symptoms of peripheral vestibular dysfunction that can last for much longer than a concussion does! There are more than twenty-five known vestibular disorders. “Vestibular disorder” is a term used to encompass many different conditions that affect the inner ear and those parts of the central nervous system involved in maintaining balance. Each is unique, but many share common diagnostic traits. The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis, and Ménière’s disease.
In addition to providing traditional treatment for neck injuries that are causing headaches and feelings of dizziness (i.e., conservative treatments including myofascial release, gentle mobilization, stretching, ultrasound, and instruction in proper posture and positioning)
our physical therapist is specially trained in the assessment and treatment of dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium that may occur after hitting your head, or even after an infection or other medical issue. Our personalized vestibular rehabilitation (VRT) program is an “exercise” based approach that will combine physical activity and specific eye-movement activities designed to remedy your symptoms. Your exercises will be designed to extinguish or decrease dizziness, improve balance function, increase activity level and improve quality of life.