By Michael B. Smith
Vestibular Certified Physical Therapist
The term Vestibular refers to what is more commonly known as the “inner ear”. The Vestibular system is made up of an identical left and right structure which consist of 3 circular canals connected to a chamber like structure. The Vestibular system is one of three key components to our balance system.
Vestibular problems present in two primary ways: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) or Vestibular hypofunction.
BPPV occurs when calcium crystals in the main chamber of the Vestibular complex become dislodged and enter into one of the fluid filled circular canals. The symptoms of this are typically an acute case of Vertigo (room appears to be spinning) with any of the following movements, rolling over in bed, lying down, sitting up, and bending over. It can be accompanied by minimal to severe nausea.
Vestibular issues are usually caused by age related changes or head trauma. BPPV can typically be treated in 2-3 treatments by identifying the problematic side and the affected circular canal, and moving the head through a prescribed set of movements to move the crystals out of the circular canals.
The second most common type of Vestibular problems is vestibular hypofunction. The left and right vestibular complexes work together to give the brain information about balance and how we are moving around. A hypofunction occurs when one side is not sending information at the same rate as the other side. The symptoms of a Vestibular hypofunction typically includes increased staggering while walking, dizziness, and loss of balance when looking from side to side. Some may experience trouble standing with their eyes closed (washing your hair in the shower) and/or difficulty standing and walking in a dimly a room.
Vestibular hypofunction is treated with a combination of strength training, compensatory strategies, and Vestibular adaptation to improve the function of the Vestibular system and improve your other balance systems related to vision and strength.
If either of these conditions sounds familiar, contact your primary care provider to request a referral, or our office for further information.
Wim Vergauwen, MPT, CMT – Owner
Certified Manual Therapist
Wim was born in Belgium and received his Master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 1991 from the University of Leuven, Belgium. He also received his European Master’s degree of Adapted Physical Activities in 1992 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Wim has more than 25 years experience in outpatient facilities. He is respected throughout his field for his competence and expertise in the treatment of spinal disorders. Wim has been an adjunct instructor for the Physical Therapy program at the University of Central Florida, and as a Certified Manual Therapist, he has also been an instructor of continuing education courses.
Scottie Bull, PT, CLT-LANA – Owner
Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Scottie received her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Florida. She has been an outpatient therapist since her graduation on 1997. She has over 20 years of experience in outpatient rehabilitation settings and in 2001 she began specializing in the treatment of Lymphedema. That same year, she implemented a Lymphedema support group which continues to meet monthly. In 2009, Scottie met her professional goal of achieving national certification as a lymphedema therapist from the lymphology Association of North America (LANA). Currently, she is the only LANA certified therapist in Lake County.
Phone: (352) 365-1114
Fax: (353) 365-0111
1127 East North Blvd.
Leesburg, FL 34748
Over 3,600 insurances are accepted, as well as, self pay options.