Posts Tagged ‘therapy’

Supporting Your Spouse When they Have a Vestibular Disorder

1. Communicate with your spouse. Vestibular disorders are invisible, so you may not be able to see symptoms, which can be frustrating. It is important to openly communicate with your spouse, listen to what they are going through, ask questions and explain how YOU feel.

2. Go to doctor’s appointments with your spouse. This will give you a better understanding of the prognosis of this balance disorder and an opportunity to ask questions your spouse may not be able to answer.

3. Go to support group meetings with your spouse. This will give you a chance to meet other individuals who are playing the role of the supporting spouse.

4. Make sure YOU have a support system. Whether it be friends, family, or other spouses like yourself, it is important that you have someone that you can vent to.

5. Take time out for YOU. Being someone’s support system is tiring. Make sure to go golfing, get that massage or take that shopping trip that rewards you!

Dizziness and the Healthcare System

With healthcare being one of the main topics of discussion in the news lately, I thought I would share a few facts about dizziness and balance disorders and what it’s costing our healthcare system.


Falling & the elderly:


  • – Falls in persons over 65 years old is #1 cause of death
  • – 30-40% of community dwelling adults older than 65 fall
  • – A history of gait or balance disorders increase the risk of fall three fold- attributed to 17% of falls
  • – Dizziness or complaints of vertigo account for 13%


  • A study of people 72 and older found that the average health care cost of a fall injury was $19,440 (including hospital, nursing home, emergency room, and home health care, but not doctors’ services) (Rizzo et al. 1998).
  • The total direct cost of all fall injuries for people 65 and older in 2000 was slightly more than $19 billion: $179 million for fatal falls, and $19 billion for nonfatal falls (Stevens et al. 2006).
  • By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $43.8 billion (in current dollars) (Englander et al. 1996).




You will most likely hear the word “nystagmus” used when being evaluated by your physical therapist for vestibular disorders (i.e. BPPV). Nystagmus is the involuntary movement of the eye, which can be caused by the impairment of the vestibular system such as BPPV and Meniere’s  (it can also be caused by a slew of other disorders).

With BPPV, an inner ear disorder, the eye will move towards the affected ear. This will be noticeable to your physical therapist when they do your evaluation.

Brandt-Daroff Exercises

Brandt-Daroff exercises are exercises often used to help treat (not cure) BPPV and vertigo. These should be taught to you by a licensed health professional to ensure you are doing them correctly – if you aren’t doing it correctly, it won’t help at all!

Below is a description of the exercise to give you an idea of what it entails.

1) Sit on your bed in an upright position.

2) Lie down on your side with your head at a 45 degree angle

3) Lie on your side until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)

4) Sit back up straight in an upright position until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)

5) Lie down on your opposite side with your head at a 45 degree angle

6) Lie on your side until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)

7) Sit back up straight in an upright position until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)


Finding a Balance Disorder Specialist Near YOU!

We receive a LOT of inquiries from individuals who don’t live near the Chicagoland area who are looking for a vestibular rehabilitation specialist. We always point them to this link:


Just enter your state and then check “Physical Therapist” and you should have your pick! There are 486 physical therapists who specialize in treating patients with balance disorders. Unfortunately we can’t provide any recommendation as we don’t know most of these therapists and their abilities, but it is definitely worth your time to check them out!!!

Finding the Right Physical Therapist

Finding the right physical therapist to treat your vestibular symptoms is crucial to your rehabilitation. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Is the therapist a licensed physical therapist?
  • Is the therapist credentialed in treating vestibular patients? What credentials does he have? Has he treated this type of problem before?
  • Who owns the physical therapy facility: the physical therapist herself, an outside company, doctors or a hospital? (It’s best to have independent treatment, and you need to know if a doctor will profit by referring you to a facility in which she has a financial interest.)
  • Do I need to pay when I visit? Am I billed or does my insurance company pay?
  • What does the initial consultation involve?
  • What are office hours? Where would I park? Are there individual treatment rooms?
  • What type of therapy equipment is available? (Your treatment might require a specific piece of equipment.)
  • Will you provide me with balance exercises that I can do at home?
  • Will I be seen by a physical therapist or a physical therapist aide?
  • Will you report on my progress and your evaluation regularly to my other health care providers?
  • Will I get to discuss my treatment goals with a therapist? Will that person be responsible for my treatment?
  • What will my evaluation include?

**Modified for vestibular patients from Johns Hopkins web site:

Friday Cartoons to Make you Smile!







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