Vestibular & Balance Rehabilitation

The Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation Clinic attends to the rehabilitation of patients suffering from imbalance and vertigo. Many patients live with these conditions believing them to be untreatable, but this need not be the case.  Vestibular pathology, balance deficit and vertigo are significant concerns for a large percentage of our population.  30% of people after the age of 60 will suffer from an episode of vertigo or a significant vestibular event.  With a recurrence rate of 60%, vertigo is a significant contributor to falls and hospital admission in the senior population, not to mention the secondary effect of balance conditions, including a reduced level of physical activity, loss of independence, social isolation and perhaps even early admission to care facilities.

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is an exercise-based benchmark treatment for vestibular events and ‘hangover effects’ after episodes of BPPV, including motion sensitivity, imbalance, dizziness, light headedness and giddiness.  The early origins of this program by the work of Cawthorne and Cooksey has been developed into an individualized program of adaptation, substitution and habitation exercises.  Programs are progressed in line with patient response to challenges over a 6-16 week period.  Patients are instructed on the exercises and correct technique in the clinic setting and are given a written program to commence on a regular daily basis.  Discharge from care is determined by continued response to treatment and a reduction of symptoms.

Physical Therapy’s experienced physiotherapists have been treating balance disorders for the past 8 years.  Principal therapist David Becconsall has successfully completed specialised training in diagnosis and management of vestibular pathology under the tutorlidge of Emery University and Mayo Clinic specialists.  This course has only been offered twice in Australia in the past 10 years.  Physical Therapy is able to assist with your patient care in clinical vestibular testing, diagnosis and management of vestibular hypofunction, vestibular loss, BPPV and illness or injury resulting in imbalance, dizziness and motion sensitivity.  Our physiotherapists work alongside our team of exercise physiologists to run a regular VRT Clinic, ensuring prompt assessment and treatment.

Follow up correspondence will provide diagnosis, management advice and any recommendations for further investigation or specialist review.  Our VRT program allows for early diagnosis and expedited management for patients suffering from BPPV, and early detection of more serious vestibular pathology including central lesions.

Our practitioners are skilled in the correct diagnosis and management of vestibular and non-vestibular conditions affecting balance. They have received specialised training and use both manual treatment techniques and exercise rehabilitation to achieve positive outcomes.

Appointments for this specialised care may be made via Physical Therapy reception by the patient or GP directly.