Balance & Vestibular Services

More than five million Americans experience vestibular disorders serious enough to require medical attention each year. Although this feeling of dizziness and imbalance can occur at any age, older individuals are more likely to be affected. By age 75, vestibular problems are one of the most common reasons for seeking treatment.

At Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, our specialized team of physical and occupational therapists evaluate individuals with vestibular disorders and provide personalized treatment to help restore balance and functional independence.

The Symptoms

Because the vestibular system – part of the inner ear – interacts with other parts of the nervous system, the symptoms of vestibular dysfunction is characterized by any of a number of symptoms, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Fullness in the ears
  • Imbalance when walking
  • History of falls or stumbling
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Change in activity level

Individuals may also experience or muscular aches, motion sickness, blurred vision, an inability to concentrate and sensitivity to noise and bright lights. These symptoms may be mild, lasting a few minutes, or severe, resulting in total disability.

The Causes

Vestibular disorders can be caused by a wide range of injuries, illnesses and conditions, including:

  • Labyrinthitis
  • BPPV
  • Meniere's disease
  • Balance Dysfunction
  • Falls or fear of falling
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain injury, including whiplash
  • Ear or other viral infection
  • Vestibular deterioration with aging

Our Approach

Kessler's interdisciplinary team of licensed physical and occupational therapists, including certified vestibular specialists, provides a conservative, non-invasive and drug-free approach to care. We conduct a comprehensive evaluation and develop an individualized treatment plan. We then introduce the exercises, therapeutic interventions and strategies to best meet the needs – and rehabilitation goals — of each patient.

Treatment

Research indicates that 80% to 90% of people with vestibular disorders benefit from specialized therapy program. Our rehabilitation team integrates proven treatment, advanced technologies and supportive care to optimize each patient's recovery. Treatment may include:

  • Balance training activities
  • Muscle re-training
  • Canalith repositioning
  • Manual techniques for BPPV
  • Epley-Semont Maneuvers
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Vestibular exercises
  • Visual training
  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Biofeedback
  • Cognitive-behavioral strategies

A personalized home program is also provided to help reinforce the gains made through therapy. The home program, which is based on physical condition and tolerance of certain activities, will be modified as the individual progresses.

Research

Kessler physicians and therapists are also engaged in promising new research studies that may offer new avenues of treatment for individuals with balance and vestibular disorders.

For More Information

For more information about Kessler's Balance & Vestibular Rehabilitation program, contact or call Kessler's West Orange, Saddle Brook or Chester Campus.

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