There are many reasons for having dizziness, but one of the most likely side effects is decreased balance.  Maintaining your balance is possible due to inputs to your brain including the vestibular system (often thought of as the inner ear), vision, and proprioception (touch, pressure, movements in joints).  The video below gives a brief overview of the vestibular system and how it can affect balance.

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The infographic below, provided by the Vestibular Disorder Association, shows aspects involved in this control.

While physical therapy cannot change such aspects as gravity, it can be helpful to many of the other factors shown in this infographic. Physical therapists can help to determine which aspects are involved with your dizziness and tailor a program to help you improve in that area.

You can think of this like a person that has a vision loss and their hearing becomes more sensitive and thus provides more information to the brain with the same inputs.  Likewise, if you have an impairment in the vestibular system such as Meniere’s or any number of other conditions, a physical therapist can provide you with exercises or tasks to heighten the response to other factors such as gaze stabilization or eye coordination.   Impairments in posture, inability to move the body optimally or joint stiffness in the neck can impact the inputs from proprioception and can most often be improved with physical therapy interventions.  Physical therapy may include but is not limited to eye exercise, balance/walking exercises, exercises for motion sensitivity, advice regarding triggers and prevention.

If you have symptoms of dizziness, impaired balance, or fear of falling, consider a physical therapy consultation.  The link below provides more information about physical therapy and balance.

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