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Vestibular Rehabilitation: How It Can Help You Recover from a Concussion

If you have recently suffered a concussion, vestibular rehabilitation may be the key to your recovery. Vestibular rehabilitation is a type of physical therapy that helps to retrain the vestibular system, which is responsible for balance and eye movement. If this system is not functioning properly, it can lead to dizziness, vertigo, and other symptoms. In this blog post, we will discuss how vestibular rehabilitation can help you recover from a concussion. We will also discuss the different types of exercises that are used in this category of therapy.

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system is a complex system that is responsible for balance and eye movement. It is made up of the inner ear, the brain, and the nerves that connect them. The inner ear contains fluid-filled canals that are sensitive to movement. These canals send signals to the brain about movement and position. The brain then uses this information to control balance and eye movement.

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation is a category of physical or occupational therapy that helps to retrain the vestibular system. This category of therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. It is often used in conjunction with other categories of occupational therapy and physical therapy. Vestibular rehabilitation involves many different interventions to improve the performance of this system, including learning repositioning maneuvers, balance training, and stretching to alleviate symptoms.

Symptoms of Disruption to the Vestibular System

Disruption to the vestibular system can cause many undesirable symptoms if not treated properly, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of being “off balance”
  • Hearing and vision difficulty
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea from feeling like you are spinning or the world around you is moving

Symptoms of Concussion

Concussions are considered a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and can occur from a blow to the head, or when the head and upper body are violently shaken. Concussions are commonly seen in contact sports or car accidents. Concussions can cause a variety of symptoms, which can be short-lived or long-lasting. The CDC reports that the signs and symptoms of a concussion are as follows:

  • Loss of memory prior toor after a hit or fall
  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Confusion
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes

5 Ways Vestibular Rehabilitation Can Help With Concussions

If you have suffered from a concussion, there is a high probability of vestibular rehabilitation decreasing the severity and volume of related symptoms. A study published in Frontiers in Neurology found that patients who received vestibular rehabilitation treatments within three weeks of their concussion had a reduction in symptoms. The study also found that patients who received vestibular rehabilitation had a faster return to normal activity levels and were less likely to experience long-term effects from their concussion. Vestibular rehabilitation includes:

  1. Vision Stability Training
    This type of therapy can help with visual symptoms associated with concussion such as light sensitivity and blurry vision.
  1. Balance Exercises
    Balance exercises can help decrease severity of dizziness, vertigo, and unsteadiness.
  1. Posture Correction
    Posture correction can help decrease intensity of neck pain, headaches, and fatigue.
  1. Mobility Exercises of the Neck and Upper Body
    Mobility exercises can help improve range of motion and flexibility.
  1. Fitness and Strengthening Techniques
    Strengthening exercises can help with overall recovery and return to normal activity levels.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

The results from Vestibular Rehabilitation range along the functional continuum for each patient. Since this treatment is customized per patient, it is best to contact a Twin Boro clinic nearby to arrange for a therapist evaluation and assessment.  A plan of care can then be determined directed toward the individual’s desired functional goals.

Why Choose Twin Boro?

At Twin Boro we make it a priority to tailor and assess each patient to ensure the correct steps are taken to achieve our high standard of care is given. Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart.

Schedule an Appointment with Twin Boro Today

If you or your child have the symptoms of a concussion, it’s key to get an assessment as soon as possible. As part of our unique One2Four approach, vestibular rehab involves individualized treatment with customized exercises to promote brain adaptation and improve recovery. During your initial session, your physical therapist will perform an assessment to determine what kind of concussion you have to determine the proper vestibular rehab. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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