Posts Tagged ‘treatment’

Spring 2010 Vestibular Support Group

Join us on Saturday, April 17th for our Vestibular Support Group, located at our office at 3130 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, IL (60657). Refreshments will be served at 11:30am and the meeting will begin at 12pm and will last for approximately one hour.

We would love all of those affected by vestibular disorders to join us! Friends and family, as well as other support systems, are  welcome.

To RSVP, please call: 773-525-5200.

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If You Are Dizzy…

…Keep moving!

It will be very difficult for dizzy patients to hear that they should keep doing their daily activities when their symptoms flare up. Their first instinct is to become inactive and take rest days. What will help your vestibular system is to rest until your symptoms settle down and then go back to your normal activities.

When you become active, you are training your brain to get used to different incoming signals. This in conjunction with daily vestibular exercises will help with rehabilitation of your vestibular system.

Muscle Cramps – What are They?

A friend of mine was running the other day and caught a cramp in her leg. We were talking about her leg cramps, which turn out to happen quite often, and she asked me what exactly is a cramp and how she can avoid it in the future. I thought I’d share it with my readers!

When you exercise your muscles contract and then relax in quick succession. A cramp happens when your muscle contracts but does not relax, and becomes hardened. It may be difficult, once you have a cramp, to relax the muscle and pain may result.

Some causes of cramps include:

  • Injury to the muscle: Muscles may spasm, and then cramp, around the site of an injury to stabilize the injury site.
  • Nocturnal cramps:  Small movements during the night of muscles causes shortening of the muscles which lead to cramps – which is why you may wake up in the middle of the night with a Charley Horse!
  • Dehydration: Fluid loss during exercise causes the muscles to shorten up and tense up. Cramps in seniors may result from poor fluid intake.

Other causes for cramps can be found on the website provided below, but my friend’s reason was most likely from dehydration. For cramps caused during exercise, it is essential that you do a proper warm up and cool down and make sure you get plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout (also can be found on the website provided below). And make sure you stretch before and after your workout!

http://www.medicinenet.com/muscle_cramps/article.htm

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

    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

    Vestibular Support Group: Success!

    This past Saturday we held our 4th Vestibular Support Group and what a success it was! Dr. Julia Rahn came and spoke about the psychological challenges of living with a vestibular disorder/chronic illness. Although we had a smaller group than usual, the group was fantastic. While the support group does provide a group speaker, it is a very laid back atmosphere and everyone was free to share their story, their concerns and daily challenges. Although initially we had some timid members, after hearing others share their vestibular story, everyone opened up and even stayed after to swap phone numbers and email addresses.

    We hope that you will consider joining us for the next vestibular support group. For more info: info@balancechicago.com

    During Therapy: Why You May STILL Feel Dizzy!

    There is a good chance that during vestibular rehabilitation therapy you may still feel dizzy. The vestibular system tells your brain where your head is in space (up, down, left…). When the vestibular system is weakened, in an accident or after being sick, the vestibular system has a hard time figuring out where your head is located in space, causing you to be off balance.

    During vestibular rehabiliation therapy, you are doing exercises that are intentionally making you dizzy. Exercises that include moving the head left to right while focusing on a steady object is one example. By focusing on a still object while moving your head left to right, you are re-training the brain to coordinate the information between the senses and the vestibular system so that signals are sent correctly to the brain.

    Your exercises will get increasingly hard as you progress through your therapy and your symptoms may flare up because your brain will not be used to the increase in difficulty (ie. new visual cues). Do not despair, this happens to some of our patients!

    How do you combat this dizziness: Do your exercises at home that your physical therapist provides you with. It will really help you with your dizziness!