Vestibular Physiotherapist

Vestibular Therapy

Vestibular rehabilitation or Therapy  is an exercise-based program, designed by a specialty-trained vestibular physical therapist, to improve balance and reduce problems related to dizziness.

 
Steven

Steven O’Connell (Vestibular Physiotherapist)

Steve is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with 30 years of clinical experience.
Steve has worked in the NSW all areas for the last 21 years and has established a reputation for providing the highest quality care for his injured clients. Steve has a keen interest in treatment of balance and dizziness disorders, falls preventions and getting people back on their feet.  

Steve has Certification in Vestibular Rehabilitation. The course was run by experts in the fields of neurology and vestibular rehabilitation from The Mayo Clinic, Duke University, The Emory University and East Tennessee University.

 

The common symptoms associated with dizziness and vertigo: 

  • Sense that your surroundings are spinning or moving
  • Loss of balance and falling
  • Nausea
  • Light headedness ~ Unsteadiness/stumbling
  • Difficulty focusing your vision especially after quick head movements
  • Weakness

Ear's Anatomy

The common vestibular disorders that can cause dizziness :

  • Vestibular Neuronities – Viral infection of the nerve of the inner ear.​
  • Acoustic Neuronities – A Benign tumour which grows along the course of the vestibular nerve
  • Meniere’s Disease – A disorder which involves the build up of fluid in the inner ear
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – A disorder caused by debris freely floating in the fluid of the inner ear
  • Stroke – Interference with the blood supply to the inner ear and vestibular areas within the brain
  • Trauma – Significant falls, motor vehicle accidents
  • Labyrinthitis – Acute inflammation of the labyrinth including the vestibular and cochlear system
  • Vestibular Migraine – Migraine headaches can cause patients to be very sensitive to motion, such as turning your head quickly, being in a crowded or confusing place, driving/riding in a vehicle

Treatment Options

Vestibular Rehabilitation: When the vestibular mechanism is damaged with injury or disease, the brain can no longer rely on it for accurate information about equilibrium and motion. This results in dizziness, vertigo, balance problems etc. The goal of vestibular rehabilitation is to RE-TRAIN the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system in co-ordination with vision and body movements. We will perform a thorough evaluation including observing posture, balance, movement and compensatory strategies. Based on the evaluation, an individualized treatment plan is created combining specific head and body movements with eye exercises. Treatment also usually includes activities and exercises to improve strength and coordination.