Balance and walking problems can result from orthopedic conditions, neurological disorders, or a number of injuries that involve the joints, muscles, and nerves.
FYZICAL therapists take a whole-body approach to consider whether issues with the spine, hip, knee or feet contribute to imbalances, and they provide intensive one-on-one care to help you achieve the greatest independence possible.
Facts About Balance
1/3 of the population over 65 falls each year
In patients over 75, imbalance is the #1 reason for a doctor visit
1/2 of the population over 80 falls each year
1 out of 5 hip fractures dies within one year after injury
Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions
Falls are the #1 cause of fractures
Falls account for 40% of all nursing home admissions
Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among elderly
Facts About Vestibular Disorders
At least half of the overall United States population is affected by a balance or vestibular disorder sometime during their lives.
Approximately 15 out of every 1000 individuals consult their family physician each year with complaints of vertigo, dizziness, or imbalance; half the individuals over the age of 65 will develop positional vertigo.
Of all falls suffered by the elderly, 50% are reported to be the result of vestibular problems.
In approximately 15% of vestibular patients, the cause cannot be recognized.
Traditional vestibular function tests fail to establish a localizing diagnosis that can account for a patient’s symptoms in a reported 30% to 50% of cases.
Inner ear problems may not be amenable to surgical treatment, and pharmacological treatment of these conditions with vestibular suppressants often retards the recovery process.
Vestibular dysfunction is a prominent part of balance disorders, particularly in the elderly, and is a significant source of morbidity.
Facts About Dizziness Disorders
Dizziness is prevalent, with estimates ranging from 1.8% in young adults to more than 30% in the elderly, and causing considerable morbidity and utilization of health services.
It has been estimated that 65% of individuals older than 60 years of age experience dizziness or loss of balance, often on a daily basis.
Dizziness is a common symptom affecting about 30% of people over the age of 65.
23-30% of adults have experienced at least one episode of dizziness and 3.5% of adults experience a chronic recurrent episode greater than a one-year duration by age 65.
Approximately 12.5 million Americans over the age of 65 have a dizziness or balance problem that significantly interferes with their lives.
There are an estimated 5 to 8 million physician visits for dizziness in the United States each year; dizziness is a primary reason for an office visit in the over 75 age group.
One in three people will experience dizziness or imbalance during their lifetime.
In the US, the estimated cost of medical care for patients with balance disorders exceeds $1 billion annually.
Dizziness can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in elderly persons, in whom it often represents dysfunction in more than one body system.
Many cases of dizziness are actually neurological.
In a study involving 96 asymptomatic controls and 149 dizzy subjects, ENG failed to discriminate dizzy subjects from controls and failed to differentiate various dizziness syndromes.
Our balance programs focus on strength, endurance, motion, gait training and coordination for safe walking and preventing falls. If you need the assistance of a cane or walker, FYZICAL therapists will match you with the appropriate device and provide training for safety.
At FYZICAL, our therapists realize how important balance and walking is for independent living, as well as for work activities, exercise, sports and enjoying life in general.
That’s why we provide a range of programs and therapies to evaluate and treat balance disorders:
Assessment and Evaluation Programs
Gait Training and Balance Programs
Fall Prevention and Balance Retraining
Manual and Massage Therapy
BPPV: Benign Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo - When crystals of calcium carbonate called otoconia, gets caught in a Semi Circular Canal of your inner ear. This can cause symptoms of Vertigo!
If you are planning to consult with us because of a balance, dizziness or vertigo problem, please download, print out and fill out the following questionnaires. Be sure to bring them in with you. Ensure you bring a complete list of your current Medications (med name, dosages) and a detailed Medical History.
COMMON VESTIBULAR DISORDERS
Benign Positional Vertigo
Benign positional vertigo, believed to be the most common type of peripheral vertigo, can be seen following head injury, vestibular neuronitis, stapes surgery, Meniere’s disease, or can present alone. The disorder is thought to be related to an abnormality in the association of the otoconia to the cupula within the membranous labyrinth, resulting in abnormal responses to endolymph movement with head motion. Symptoms are typically associated with head movement, such as rolling over or getting in or out of bed. The associated vertigo is brief, lasting only seconds in duration, and can be seen as an acute form only or in an intermittent or chronic form.
Labyrinthine infarction leads to a sudden profound loss in auditory and vestibular function, and typically occurs in older patients. This phenomenon can be seen in younger patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease or hypercoagulation disorders. Episodic vertigo may herald a complete occlusion in the form of a type of transient ischemic attack. After complete occlusion, the acute vertigo that ensues will subside, often leaving the patient with some residual unsteadiness and dysequilibrium over the next several months while vestibular compensation occurs.
Vestibular neuronitis presents as a sudden episode of vertigo without hearing loss in an otherwise healthy person. The disorder can occur as a single attack or can present as multiple attacks. It occurs more often in spring and early summer, and as a result is often associated with an upper respiratory tract infection developing around the same time. The onset of vertigo is sudden and is typically associated with nausea and vomiting, and can last for a period of days with gradual improvement over the following weeks. The disorder is often followed by episodes of benign positional vertigo.
Labyrinthitis is an inflammatory process occurring within the membranous labyrinth that may have a bacterial or viral etiology. Viral infections produce symptoms of dizziness similar to vestibular neuronitis, except that there is cochlear dysfunction as well. Congenital measles, rubella, and cytomegalovirus infections frequently cause no vestibular symptoms. Bacterial labyrinthitis can present in a supparative form with direct involvement of the membranous labyrinth by the pathogen, or in a serous form. The serous form often is seen with acute otitis media when diffusion of bacterial toxins across the round window membrane occurs.
Meniere's disease is an inner ear disorder characterized by episodic vertigo attacks, sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus, and pressure or fullness in the involved ear. Initially, the hearing loss involves the lower frequencies and fluctuates, usually worsening with repeated attacks. The attacks are characterized by true vertigo, usually with nausea and vomiting lasting hours in duration. Histopathologically, this disorder is believed to be due to dilation of the endolymphatic spaces (hydrops) with ruptures and subsequent healing of the membranous labyrinth. Variants of the disease do occur, including vertigo without associated auditory symptoms.
The vast majority of migraine variants are made up of the first two categories, migraine without aura, and migraine with aura. The term aura can be defined as a focal neurological disorder. Auras generally are considered to be abnormal sensory perceptions. Visual auras are the most frequent type, and may come in a wide variety of phenomena or hallucinations.
Mal de Debarquement
Mal de Debarquement, or disembarkment sickness, is actually a common and normal occurence1. It can best be defined as the continued sensation of motion, rocking, or swaying that persists after return to a stable environment following a prolonged exposure to motion, as one would encounter on a cruise, car, bus or train ride. It can be related to any form of conveyance. Most individuals who have enjoyed even a few hours on a fishing boat may have experienced this sensation of still being on the water, after they have returned to shore. This sensation may only last hours or even for a few days. It seems to be most noticeable when standing in the shower shampooing with eyes closed, lying in bed, or perhaps leaning against a stable fixture, as when one is at the sink washing the dishes. The Mal de Debarquement sensation that commonly occurs is independent of any seasickness or motion sickness that may be experienced during the cruise or travel. The individual may not have any ill feelings at all, and only notices the rocking sensation once on solid ground. A survey by Gordon, Sphitzer, and Donavitch, found that of 116 crew members of the Israeli naval force, 72% reported this common sensation with 67% reporting a very strong sensation following their initial voyage.
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