Restore Your Balance with Lexington’s Vestibular Physical Therapists

While feelings of dizziness or imbalance can interfere with daily life, they don’t have to be permanent. Lexington Medical Center Outpatient Rehabilitation Services offers comprehensive vestibular therapy that can quickly restore function for individuals who struggle with vertigo, vestibular system and balance disorders.

Jennifer Roberts, PT, DPT, a vestibular rehabilitation physical therapist at Lexington Medical Center, said that most patients with a vestibular or imbalance disorder have symptoms including visual disturbances, headache, nausea, vomiting, difficulty walking and overall fatigue. These problems, which may be caused by a vestibular or neurological disorder, can seriously impact everyday activities.

“Individuals with positional vertigo may get dizzy each time they sit up, lie down or roll over in bed, so they may limit their movements,” said Jennifer, who has a certificate in vestibular rehabilitation from the American Physical Therapy Association. “As a result, their body may become deconditioned, which reduces strength and mobility and increases the risk of falls. The sooner they can get evaluated and treated, the better.”

The team of vestibular rehabilitation physical therapists includes Jennifer, Laura Tanley and Linda Engstrom in Lexington, and Sandy Poplin at the North Davidson clinic. They complete a thorough patient evaluation, assessing oculomotor function, general vestibular function, balance and gait to identify specific needs of the patient.   They also conduct a thorough history, including the temporal course of symptoms, type of dizziness that a patient is experiencing, and how the symptoms are provoked. An individualized treatment plan is then developed based on the results of the evaluation.

A treatment plan may include specific head, body and eye exercises to be performed in the rehabilitation department and at home. There may also be a need for balance and gait exercises to improve function and decrease fall risk. The ultimate goal is to alleviate symptoms and provide a home exercise program to restore function.

“We take the time to ensure our patients understand why they’re doing the exercises and how they can continue on their own at home. Patients typically see a difference quickly, often after just one to four weeks, and sometimes after one visit,” said Jennifer.

Patients who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a condition where displaced crystals fall into the ear canal and create a sense of spinning, may be treated with a canalith repositioning maneuver, which provides quick relief in as little as one visit.

The Lexington and North Davidson team treats patients with a wide variety of vestibular disorders, but some medical conditions that cause imbalance and dizziness are not vestibular related. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should first be assessed by a physician and understand that not all conditions may respond or be appropriate for vestibular therapy. Some of these conditions include certain neurological disorders, anxiety or psychological related disorders, issues resulting from medication and orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure resulting from positional change), to name a few.

“It’s important to know that you may not be stuck having imbalance and dizziness problems forever,” said Jennifer. “There’s a great team here that is ready to help you recover and return to the activities you enjoy. We truly want the best for our patients.” 

To make an appointment with one of our vestibular rehabilitation physical therapists, call (336) 238-4776 for the Lexington clinic or (336)-764-4583 for the North Davison clinic.  A referral is needed from a physician prior to scheduling an appointment.