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Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

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Vestibular Rehabilitation for People with Dizziness and Imbalance Issues

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Rehabilitation Services department evaluates and treats a variety of balance and vestibular disorders. Our goal is to reduce or eliminate patient’s symptoms so that they can return to functioning at home and in the community and to improve quality of life.

Who can benefit from rehabilitation?

You should be evaluated by your physician prior to starting physical therapy to rule out other causes of dizziness or balance impairment. Referrals for therapy are generated by primary physicians, geriatricians, otolaryngologists and neurologists.

Common problems that are treated by our Vestibular Rehabilitation staff include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vestibular weakness in one, or both ears
  • Migraine Associated Vertigo
  • Neurologic and other disorders that lead to imbalance or difficulty walking.

What does Vestibular rehabilitation involve?

During your first visit you will undergo a specialized evaluation that includes:

  • Musculoskeletal assessment: the therapist will assess your strength, range of motion, sensation and coordination
  • Balance and Gait/Walking assessment
  • Vertigo assessment

Our staff enjoys the use of state-of-the-art equipment to help evaluate you and identify a treatment program that meets your individual needs. Balance is a skill that coordinates multiple systems in the body and exercise helps these systems work together in a coordinated fashion. Vestibular rehabilitation utilizes exercise to address dizziness and balance impairments. Your treatment program may include:

  • Habituation exercises: exercises place the patient in positions that trigger dizziness, thus allowing your body to adjust and decrease the dizziness you experience
  • Gaze stability training
  • Balance retraining
  • Exercise program that addresses issues weakness, decreased range of motion etc.
  • Canal repositioning for positional vertigo, or BPPV
  • Home exercise program
  • Patient and caregiver education

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