Balance & Dizziness
Facts about feeling dizzy or unbalanced
1. Dizziness and balance problems account for up to 10% of all physician visits.
2. Dizziness and balance problems affect approximately 50% of the adult population at some time.
3. Falls due to balance problems are the cause of 85% of all injuries requiring hospitalization in persons over 65 years of age.
What is Vestibular Therapy?
Vestibular Therapy is therapy provided by a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist specially trained in treating balance and dizziness disorders. Balance disorders are assessed and treated with modalities such as prescribing appropriate balance exercises, treating the dizziness, and/or by determining if the use of ambulatory aides are appropriate.
Complaints of dizziness, if arising from the vestibular system, may be treated with particle positioning techniques, specific exercises, dietary guidelines and education, depending on the cause.
The ability to maintain an upright posture against gravity.
1. Impaired functioning of sensory systems, which include ones eyes; inner ear; and the nerve endings in the skin, muscles and joints. This may be due to: age related changes, a neurological or musculoskeletal deficit.
2. Being on multiple medications.
A sensation that something is wrong. It may be a sensation that you or that the world is spinning, which is termed vertigo. It may also describe a sensation of light-headedness, a linear pulling, motion sickness, feeling faint, and/or the blurring of one’s vision.
• Psychiatric: anxiety/panic disorders, mood disorders.
• Cardiovascular: arrhythmia, anemia, and postural hypotension.
• Neck injuries.
• Medication induced.
• Metabolic: hypoglycaemia, hormonal.
• Central nervous system: stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, concussion/brain injury, cerebellar atrophy, brain tumour, Chiari Malformation, vertebral artery insufficiency.
• Otological: Meniere’s Disease, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuronitis, and recurrent vestibulopathy.
Frequently Asked Questions Before a Vestibular Assessment
Q. How long will the assessment take?
A. The initial assessment and consultation will take 1 hour.
Q. Will I feel dizzy after the assessment?
A. Some patients may not have any symptoms after the initial assessment, but it is not uncommon for a patient to feel a bit off for the rest of the day.
Q. Should I have someone come with me?
A. Yes. If you are being seen in regards to your dizziness you may feel a bit off after the assessment. It would therefore be good to have someone drive you home.
Q. How many treatments will I need?
A. This will depend on the cause of your symptoms. If you have BPPV (the most common inner ear problem to cause dizziness) one to three treatments should resolve your symptoms, whereas symptoms arising after an acquired brain injury (stroke, concussion, etc) may require follow-up over a period of months.
Q. Will my appointments be covered through my SaskHealth Benefits?
A. No, but they are typically covered through the Physical Therapy portion of the benefits package through you or your spouses work insurance, Blue Cross, or Group Medical Insurance. It should also be covered through your motor vehicle or worker’s compensation benefits if the problem is the result of a motor vehicle or work related injury.
Q. Do I need to see my family doctor first?
A. Not necessarily, but it would be good to be seen by your family doctor first to rule out any cardiovascular or neurological problem that may be leading to your symptoms. Also, to be reimbursed through your insurance benefits you may need a doctors referral.
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Grosvenor Park Centre
#19 – 2105 8th Street East
Saskatoon, SK, S7H-0T8
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Monday to Friday: 9am-6pm
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