Balance Therapy

Balance Therapy at Crest

Balance is crucial to perform normal everyday activities. Without good balance, it is hard to do things like get out of a chair and walk, bend over to put on your shoes, wash your hair, drive your car, and go grocery shopping.

Everything you do in your daily life, whether for work or leisure, requires balance control. Most of the time, you do not even think about maintaining your balance, but when balance problems start to occur, they can cause profound disruptions in your daily routine.

In addition to increased risk for falls, balance disorders can shorten your attention span, disrupt normal sleep patterns, and cause excessive fatigue. Individuals with balance and dizziness problems can have trouble with the simplest of tasks.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common cause of vertigo—the sensation of dizziness or spinning. It can affect patients of all ages, but is most common in men over 50. A head injury or balance disturbance may make patients more susceptible to BPPV.

Crest Treatments and Solutions

The form of physical therapy prescribed for balance disorders depends on:

  • Symptoms
  • Medical history and general health
  • A physical examination by a qualified doctor
  • Diagnostic test results

In Addition To Treatment For Any Underlying Disease That May Contribute To The Balance Disorder, Physical Therapy Treatment Can Include The Following

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)

VRT uses specific head, body, and eye exercises designed to retrain the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system and coordinate them with information from vision and proprioception. The choice and form of VRT balance exercises in physical therapy differs from person to person.

Home-Based Exercise

Home physical therapy exercises are often a vital part of treatment. Appropriate VRT exercises are assigned by the physical therapist to be performed at a prescribed pace, along with a progressive fitness program to increase energy and reduce stress.

Dietary Adjustments

Many people with Meniere’s disease, secondary endolymphatic hydrops, and migraine-associated dizziness find that certain modifications in diet are helpful in managing their disorder. Avoidance of non-dietary substances such as nicotine and some types of medications may reduce symptoms.


The use of medication in treating balance disorders depends on whether the vestibular system dysfunction is in an initial or acute phase (lasting up to 5 days), or a chronic phase (ongoing).


When medical treatment isn’t effective in controlling vertigo and other symptoms caused by vestibular system dysfunction, surgery may be considered. The type of surgery performed depends upon each individual’s diagnosis and physical condition. Surgical procedures for peripheral vestibular disorders are either corrective or destructive.

The goal of corrective surgery is to repair or stabilize inner ear function.

The goal of destructive surgery is to stop the production of sensory information or prevent its transmission from the inner ear to the brain.

Symptoms from vestibular disorders are invisible and unpredictable. This does not mean that they are imaginary, but that they often contribute to a wide range of psychological impacts.

People who have a vestibular disorder often need support and may benefit from counseling to cope with lifestyle changes, depression, guilt, and grief that come from no longer being able to meet their own or others’ expectations.

Balance Control Process

Balance is a complex process that depends on 3 major body components:

  • Your sensory systems ability to provide accurate information about your body’s position
  • Our brain’s ability to process balanced information.
  • Your muscles and joints ability to coordinate the movements required to maintain balance

When operating correctly, the vestibular system allows us to maintain an upright posture, and corrects our balance when challenged. It also gives us the ability to visually fix our sight on an image and keep ourselves in motion without falling or losing our balance.


  • Loss of balance is a fact of life as we grow older
  • People with dizziness, vertigo, or vestibular (inner ear) dysfunction just have to “live with it”
  • Falls are inevitable as we age

In reality, balance disorders and vertigo can be treated and controlled with physical therapy. 


  • Proper evaluation and diagnosis of balance and fall related issues are critical to correcting the problem
  • Treatment can greatly reduce the symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, and equilibrium
  • Balance exercises and physical therapy can improve the loss of flexibility and strength associated with age due to lack of activity
  • The effects of aging are not solely responsible for loss of balance or the symptoms of dizziness and vertigo

How does the vestibular system work?

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. Vestibular disorders can be caused or worsened by genetic or environmental conditions, or occur for unknown reasons. The most common diagnosed vestibular disorders are:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Labyrinthitis or Vestibular Neuritis
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops
  • Perilymph Fistula
  • Superior Canal Dehiscence
  • Acoustic Neuroma
  • Ototoxicity
  • Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct
  • Mal de Debarquement
  • Migraine-Associated Vertigo
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Allergies
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