Physical Therapy for Dizziness and Imbalance
Chicago Dizziness and Hearing offers conventional vestibular rehabilitation as well as several treatment techniques that are unique in Chicago. It is crucial to note that unlike most "chain" type physical therapy providers, Chicago Dizziness and Hearing is fully equipped to visualize eye movements during treatment. Also important -- physical therapy at Chicago Dizziness and Hearing has physician backup at all times. This adds an element of safety as well as allows for much quicker changes in treatment direction when things are not going well.
We provide treatments
for BPPV as well as other types of dizziness amenable to rehabilitation, such as unilateral and bilateral
vestibular loss. We also provide some unusual types of physical therapy including treatment for several variants of
John Chestnut, DPT. John provides vestibular physical therapy on Wednesdays, and also on some Saturdays.
We have recently recruited another vestibular physical therapist, who will start at CDH in 2-3 weeks.
BPPV -- we are fully equipped and have physician backup.
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- CDH physical therapists can treat all variants of BPPV including posterior canal, lateral canal, anterior canal, and multicanal. We understand the difference between canalithiasis and cupulolithisis. We are fully equipped with video frenzel goggles that enable us to determine if treatment has succeeded, and detect complications.
- CDH physical therapists have physician backup for refractory cases, which sometimes turn out to have something other than BPPV.
- Most patients are cured after 1-2 sessions.
Vestibular rehabilitation of unilateral and bilateral loss.
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- Patients with unilateral vestibular loss may take as long as a year to recover. Our exercises can speed up and improve compensation.
- Patients with bilateral vestibular loss may never return to normal. Our exercises can help them maintain the highest levels of function.
- Chicago Dizziness and hearing has balance testing equipment that can determine whether or not balance goals have been met. This includes a VHIT test capability that can measure the degree of compensation through comparison of "covert' and "overt" saccades.
Motion sickness, visual dependence, drivers disorientation, Mal de Debarquement
- Motion sickness can sometimes be treated using habituation. We use traditional methods as well as adaptations of Dr. Puma's protocol for habituation. These are home exercises, overseen by the PT.
- Visual dependence is a variant of motion sickness where visual motion causes space/motion discomfort. Visual dependence can be treated with visual habituation, using devices such as "disco balls".
- Driver disorientation syndrome -- driving can be limited because of anxiety provoked by going above certain speeds, getting on or off an expressway, bridges, tunnels, or high contrast driving situations. We treat this at Chicago Dizziness and Hearing by using immersive video games that habituate driving behaviors.
- We are presently building a treatment facility for Mal de Debarquement syndrome, similar to that of Dr. Dai in New York. We hope this will be operational in the summer of 2015.
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Other rehabilitation techniques
- Wi-fit -- This video game/balance platform combination can be useful both for persons who are home-bound, such as seniors during the winter as well as to motivate youngsters. Here we show patients how to use this game device, and let them decide whether they want to obtain one for home use.
- Tai Chi -- Dr. Hain was one of the earliest to show that Tai Chi can improve balance. Chicago Dizziness and Hearing provides training DVD's from the original study.
- Tilt training -- habituation and education can be helpful in managing orthostatic hypotension. Chicago Dizziness and Hearing has a protocol of tilt training that can be useful, as well as a tilt-table to determine if it succeeded.
Sometimes patients need to find a physical therapist closer to them.
For BPPV, we recommend using the VEDA (vestibular disorders association)
For neck PT, we recommend using the AAOMPT web site
Additionally, over the years we have had had several other physical therapists work with us. We are proud
to note that several have continued to provide sophisticated vestibular physical therapy services
elsewhere in the Chicago metropolitan area. We know that these people have had a good grounding
in vestibular physical therapy. See our PT Alumni page for more details.