Do you suffer from dizziness, vertigo or loss of balance?

Vestibular rehabilitation is an effective treatment for these symptoms caused by an inner ear dysfunction.  The vestibular system sits deep in your inner ear and is made up of three semi-circular canals and the utricle and saccule.  The semi-circular canals detect rotational head movement and the utricle and saccule detects linear and vertical head movement.

The brain receives information from both vestibular systems, your eyes, receptors in your joints and muscles to maintain balance/equilibrium.   When the system is damaged then the information sent to the brain is altered and results in symptoms such as dizziness.

 

Common causes of vestibular dysfunction are:

  • Labrynthitis
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)
  • Menieres disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Oxotoxicity – damage to the system from the use of some medications

Other causes of vestibular dysfunction can also benefit from vestibular rehabilitation including:

  • Post stroke
  • Post head injury: Positional vertigo and particularly BPPV is the most common cause of severe dizziness – it is also common post head injury and can be recognised by the pattern of dizziness which is reproduced when the head is placed in a certain position.

There can be other serious causes of dizziness which need to be evaluated by your doctor or specialist to determine whether vestibular rehabilitation is appropriate for you.

 

How this is treated is dependent on the cause and can include:

  • Specific head, body and eye exercise:
  • Gaze Stabilisation
  • Balance
  • Gait and Strengthening exercises

(These exercises will be performed in the clinic and at home.  These exercises are designed to retrain the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system and coordinate them with information from your eyes and muscles and joints.)

  • Canal repositioning techniques (for BPPV).  When you suffer from BPPV the dizziness is a result of otoconia (small crystals) moving into the semi-circular canals most commonly the posterior canal.  With specific techniques and different head positions the crystals can be shifted back out of the canals reducing dizziness.

 

If you have been suffering from dizziness vestibular rehabilitation can be an effective treatment option for you so contact us now on 075761860 to book an initial vestibular contact (one hour appointment) or contact me directly for further information donna@buretaphysio.co.nz.

Core Strength and Back Pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles. These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace. They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body. The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable. When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off. Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem. This leads to recurrent low back pain. Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain. Improving posture may reduce pain immediately. Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again. This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist. Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further. These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly. We also offer pilates classes and strength classes which incorporate core strength. Call us now to book into our classes. New times and more classes coming 2015…………. New schedule up on website in Jan

Upper back pain

Thoracic spine (upper back) pain

The main cause of this problem is injury to the small joints either side of the spine.

Risk factors for the development of this problem include:

Poor seated posture – or spending too long sitting
Limited thoracic extension – due to slouching posture
Reduced mid back rotation – again due to prolonged sitting and not enough movement of these joints.
Muscle imbalance between the chest muscles and the back muscles.
Treatment for this injury includes mobilization of the stiff and injured joints, massage, dry needling or acupuncture and stretching to help settle the affected area. A rehabilitation program is then devised to treat the risk factors and causes of the injury.

To help prevent this happening follow these simple exercises:

Lie over a rolled up towel on the floor placed horizontally across your back. Stretch your arms up over your head and feel the gentle stretch as your encourage your upper back to extend. Hold each position for 30 seconds and try to do 3 levels of your back.

Lie on your back on a Swiss Ball – then relax the arms out to the side at 90 degrees and keep them there for 30 seconds – rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.