Southwest General Hospital

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Balance & Vestibular Training

Balance and inner ear problems: more common than you may think

Couple DancingSymptoms such as dizziness, spinning, motion sickness or feeling off balance often interfere with daily actives and quality of life of rmany people. In fact, balance and vestibular (inner ear) problems are more common than you may think:  

  Balance Problem Statistics

  • Approximately 8 million people visit their doctor for treatment of dizziness annually.
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, 40-50 percent of people over the age of 40 experience dizziness or balance problems at some point in their life.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injuries in people age 65 and older in the United States.
  • Of all falls suffered by older adults, 50 percent can be attributed to some degree of vestibular dysfunction.
  • BPPV is a very common vestibular disorder with an incidence of one in every five people with vertigo. BPPV stands for Benign, Paroxysmal (sudden, without warning) Positional (in response to movement of the head) Vertigo (abnormal sensation of movement). 

The Balance and Vestibular Training program at Southwest General was can help address balance problems that affect the quality of life for many patients.   

A Comprehensive Program for Balance and Inner Ear Problems

Southwest General's Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services offers a comprehensive balance and vestibular training program. People most appropriate for the program include anyone experiencing dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, gait instability, falls or fear of falling. Other vestibular disorders may include:

  • Labyrinthitis
  • BPPV
  • Vestibular neuronitis
  • Unilateral or bilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Motion intolerance 

A Patient-Focused Approach to Treatment

A highly skilled physical or occupational therapist will assess the needs of each patient seeking treatment for balance or vestibular problems. Following the assessment, depending upon the findings as well as the patient’s individal needs, a therapist will determine if either individual therapy or group balance training is needed. All patients receive education, balance and vestibular exercises and strategies to help them reach their full potential. Objective testing is performed during treatment to measure each partient's progress toward balance goals.

Take our Balance Test

If you answer “yes” to one or more of the following questions, you may have a balance problem. Contact your physician for a referral to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service’s Balance & Vestibular Training Program. A physician order is required for all services.

  • Have you fallen more than once in the past year?
    Yes No
  • Do you have frequent dizziness, vertigo or balance problems?
    Yes No
  • Have you ever had a sudden/unexplained bout of dizziness?
    Yes No
  • Have you noticed new problems with head movements or position changes?
    Yes No
  • Have you experienced a stroke or other neurological problem that has affected your balance?
    Yes No
  • Do you experience numbness or loss of sensation in your legs and/or feet that affect your balance?
    Yes No
  • Do you use a walker or wheelchair, or need assistance to get around?
    Yes No
  • Do you need to hold onto walls or furniture as you walk around your house?
    Yes No
  • Do you feel unsteady when you are walking?
    Yes No

We Look Forward to Helping You

To enroll in our Balance and Vestibular Training program, a written prescription from your doctor is necessary and should include your name, date, an order for physical therapy and a pertinent diagnosis with precautions. For example, “Gait Instability” is a covered Medicare diagnosis. Note that most insurance providers will cover balance/vestibular rehabilitation.

Convenient day and evening hours are available at the following location:

LifeWorks of Southwest General
7390 Old Oak Blvd.
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment for Balance and Vestibular Training, call 440-816-8010.

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