Most importantly, we only treat patients suffering from dizziness, vertigo, and/or imbalance, no matter their cause. In fact, we are the only practice in Cincinnati that exclusively treats patients suffering these symptoms. Over the years, our specialists have developed specific evaluation and treatment techniques to relieve our patients of their dizziness and vertigo, and help them regain their balance. Many times, the reason patients have these symptoms is not clear-cut and often not formally diagnosed. Our specialists perform a thorough assessment of our patient’s symptoms and set treatment goals to address their individual needs. Each treatment session is one-on-one between therapist and patient; you are not passed around or put in a corner to do exercises by yourself. Our clinics offer a comfortable setting and are not loud and intimidating.
What Does Good Balance Depend On?
Your sense of balance comes from many different systems working together to create stability of your body and your vision. Identifying deficits in these systems and correcting them is what we do.
Good balance depends on:
- Correct (sensory input) information from your visual system, proprioceptive system (muscles, tendons, and joints), and the vestibular system (the balance organs in the inner ear). These three systems constantly send sensory information to your brain for processing regarding functional activities you are performing.
- Your brain uses this information and decides on an appropriate course of action.
- Your brain then initiates correct balance strategies and eye movements to help maintain your balance and keep your visual field stable (motor output).
Information from your vision, muscles, tendons, joints, and balance organs in your inner ear are sent to your brain. Your brain can control balance by using the information from present (three balance systems), and past experiences (stored information) that is appropriate for what you are doing at that time. When one or two of your balance systems are being challenged, your brain uses information from the other system(s) that are not being challenged to help you maintain your balance.
Once your brain sorts out all this information, it sends messages to the appropriate parts of your body to keep your balance and to move your eyes the same speed as your head to maintain clear vision while you are moving. If you feel dizzy or off-balance, information from your balance systems is not being integrated correctly. Your brain works based upon information it receives, if it does not receive the correct information or in a timely fashion, it responds incorrectly.
YOU MUST REMEMBER, THIS DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING IS WRONG WITH YOUR BRAIN, JUST THE INFORMATION GETTING THERE.
Key To Treatment
As a clinician treating this patient population, you have to know what to look for or in order to develop an individualized treatment plan. Unfortunately, traditional leg strengthening has been viewed as the key to successful balance training. While performing leg strengthening exercises is great, this approach fails to correct deficits in the three balance systems. Our patients walk into our clinics, so we know they have enough leg strength for daily activities. The key to successful treatment is listening to our patients describe their symptoms. Patients will diagnose themselves to us, not with a medical diagnosis, but by listening to them describe their symptoms, we are able to determine which evaluation techniques to use. Who knows their symptoms better than the person suffering from them. Once our clinicians have this subjective information, we then use very specific objective testing to determine where the patients have their deficits (the objective testing gives us information about how the three balance systems are working together). Our individualized treatment plans are developed based on these findings. Our treatment plans target correcting functional deficits involving input from the three balance systems and output from our brain to maintain our balance.
We love helping our patients make life better
My walking is so much better, I don’t have to look down any more.”