Witte Physical Therapy Areas of Concentration: Vestibular and Balance Therapy
July 11, 2023
As a small community physical therapy company, we try to be as many things to as many people as we can. We try to serve our community both inside our clinic and outside.
Outside of our clinic we work to support many different groups and organizations to ensure they have the resources they need to continue to thrive in and serve their communities. We provide community service and work to be an advocate for our communities by being involved with different groups and boards.
Inside of our clinics we have worked to assemble a staff that puts patients first. They work to build an individualized plan for each patient so that not all patients who have had a total knee replacement get the same plan. We have also worked to get our staff extra training and experience in many different aspects of physical therapy. We have an orthopedic certified specialist on board. We have a therapist who has taken a special interest and more advanced training in vestibular and balance therapies. We have a therapist who has seen and worked with a variety of women’s health issues. And finally, we have a therapist who has an extensive background in pediatric therapy. These are just a few of the areas that we have tried to work with as many patients as possible for our therapists. Today, let’s focus on those patients who could benefit from vestibular and balance therapies.
Vestibular therapy aims at improving balance and vertigo related symptoms associated with an inner ear dysfunction. It is important to note that not all balance issues are vestibular because our vestibular system is just one part of our overall balance. Three “systems” that make up our balance system are our eyes, our ears, and our musculoskeletal system. Vestibular deals with the ear and the mechanism that helps us feel where we are at in space. This system needs more specialized work than traditional physical therapy normally provides. We have a duct system in our inner ear that has a X, Y, and Z axis. This system houses tiny crystals that move in these canals as our bodies move in order to keep us upright and centered. Special evaluation techniques, interventions, and exercises are used to correct these crystals if they get stuck or travel down the wrong duct system. We have therapists who has taken extra training in working with and correcting these issues.
Balance therapy can include vestibular components, but sometimes balance issues are related only to musculoskeletal deficits. When we start to use our balance we use three strategies to try to prevent a fall. Our ankle strategy focuses on quick and reflexive foot movements to correct a loss of balance episode. Our hip strategy takes over if we need more help to stop a fall. It involves try to shift our center of gravity over our current base of support. Finally our stepping strategy is engaged if we are unable to stop a fall without widening our base of support. Physical therapy can help make sure these strategies are all operating optimally and in the correct sequence.
If you are having any balance issues give us a call and set up a time to talk to a therapist to develop a plan that will work best for you!