February Vestibular Support Group Coming Soon!

Just a heads up, the next Vestibular Support Group will be taking place in February. Details will be announced soon!

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The Inner Ear and Balance in 90 Seconds

Technology never ceases to amaze me. The amount of information we all have at our fingertips is astounding.

Learn more about your inner ear and how it affects your balance in this quick, 90 second video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbKU0AbbARg

Enjoy!

New Year’s Resolution: Maintain Your Sense of Balance

New Year’s Resolutions are always easy to state and hard to maintain. Lose weight, exercise every day, be nicer to your mother, the list of possibilities are endless.

One senior in Boston, Gail Hunter, came up with the right resolution in an effort to age gracefully: Exercise to maintain your sense of balance.

And she is completely correct.

Physical therapy can do wonders for dizziness and balance disorders, one of them being BPPV. Gail states some statistics in her article from VEDA that 50% of dizziness in the elderly is caused by BPPV and dizziness and imbalance are symptoms experienced by 40% of adults 40 years or older. If you are one of these individuals, therapy with a PT trained in vestibular rehabilitation can get you feeling like a million bucks! (And don’t be afraid to ask for your PTs credentials.)

Check out Gail’s full article:

http://www.examiner.com/x-28418-Boston-Senior-Wisdom-Examiner~y2009m12d21-Positive-New-Years-Resolution-8–Maintain-your-sense-of-balance-B-Steady-there

Waking up Dizzy?

Our new patients in their evaluation often tell us that the initial way that they realized that they had a vestibular disorder was that they turned over in bed and felt a wave of dizziness come over them. This is a key indicator that our patient may have BPPV. BPPV is treatable through physical therapy and through maneuvers like the Epley Maneuver.

Check out the other signs of BPPV:

  • Dizziness
  • A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Unsteadiness
  • A loss of balance
  • Blurred vision associated with the sensation of vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vertigo/DS00534/DSECTION=symptoms

    Do you have a Balance Disorder? Take this Self-Test

    Are you concerned that you may have a balance disorder? Take this self-test to determine whether you should go see an ENT or neurologist about a potential balance/neurological disorder.

    http://resourcesonbalance.com/patient_info/printout.aspx

    If you answer “yes” to one or more of the questions, you could be at risk. Make sure you consult with your physician or an ENT/neurologist.

    Marathon Training Programs

    Our office takes part in many aspects of our community, one of them being our close knit friendships with the athletic community in Chicago. We are the lead Physical Therapist for the Imerman Angels, the Chicago Tri Club and the National Runaway Marathon team. We hold free injury clinics and stretching clinics for all of our runners/triathletes throughout the year and offer them free injury screenings at any time during the year.

    I found great training programs through the NYTimes that will help you get through a marathon (or any long distance race). Hope it helps!

    http://health.nytimes.com/run-well/start?ref=health

    Testing and Evaluating Your Dizziness

    Every therapist who tests people for balance disorders and dizziness will use similar tests. Here are four examples of the tests that are used, which may include additional explanation if there’s an abundance of scientific terms. Explanations/definitions are in italics and I have edited the copy for better reading comprehension.

    Oculomotor examination

    Assess for an internuclear ophthalmoplegia [eye weakness] and gaze-dependent nystagmus [involuntary movement in the eye that indicates neurological abnormality]. Nystagmus of peripheral [inner ear] origin typically is unidirectional. Nystagmus of brainstem or cerebellar (ie. central) origin may be bidirectional and have more than one direction. Pure vertical nystagmus almost always is a sign of brainstem disease and not a labyrinthine [inner ear] disorder.

    Station (Romberg)

    The…Romberg test is having the patient stand heel to toe with 1 foot in front of the other; this test is required to detect abnormalities in younger patients.

    Fukuda test (stepping test of Unterberger)

    The patient is asked to step in place for 20-30 seconds. Rotation of the patient may indicate a unilateral loss of vestibular tone.

    Dix-Hallpike maneuver

    The Dix-Hallpike maneuver is one of the most important tests for patients who experience true vertigo. This test involves having the patient lie back suddenly with the head turned to one side. The test results are considered abnormal if the patient reports vertigo and exhibits a characteristic torsional (ie. rotary) nystagmus that starts a few seconds after the patient lies back (latency), lasts 40-60 seconds, reverses when the patient sits up, and fatigues with repetition.

    For more information and more tests:

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/856440-overview