For the aging, dizziness, vertigo and general imbalance problems can be frustrating, potentially dangerous afflictions that staff at the Tidewater Physical Therapy Magruder Clinic in Hampton are addressing proactively.
An estimated one out of three Americans who are older than 40 have experienced various forms of vestibular dysfunction, which includes dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium, according to the Vestibular Disorders Association. (VDA)
For Americans age 65 and older, 80 percent have experienced dizziness. This can include lightheadedness, faintness, or unsteadiness.
Vertigo encompasses a rotational or spinning component involving the perception of movement, either of one’s self or the surrounding objects, according to the VDA. Disequilibrium is unsteadiness, imbalance, or loss of equilibrium that’s accompanied by spatial disorientation.
In response to the growing need in the community, Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Magruder location Clinical Director Ken Morris, PT, DPT, CMTPT announced this month that the clinical staff has developed a vestibular rehabilitation and balance and fall prevention treatment program to help treat more of the region’s aging population.
This program falls in line with the national initiative toward prevention and taking a proactive approach to health care. Vertigo, dizziness and related falls is underrated in all age groups, Morris said.
“Educating the public is the first step in getting the appropriate treatments to those in need,” Morris said.
To launch the new program, staff at the clinic, including Mike McFarland PT, DPT, CMTPT and fellow physical therapist Reina Chaperon, PT, DPT attended a vestibular rehabilitation course to renew and enhance their treatment skills for the disorders.
“Prior to the course we heard from multiple family practice doctors that there is a lack of treatment options for patients with vestibular disorders,” McFarland said. “We wanted to fill that gap and provide better service to their patients.”
One of the defining characteristics of vestibular disorders is their debilitating nature.
“Patients are afraid to move due to fear of falling, dizziness and feeling nauseated,” Chaperon said. “Fear of movement causes deconditioning of the vestibular system and symptoms to amplify.”
A critical component of treating vestibular disorders is early intervention, which involves access to treatment. “Early intervention can make a large improvement in quality of life.” McFarland said.
Some vestibular disorders, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) — the most common disorder of the inner ear’s vestibular system and is vital to maintaining balance — can be corrected in only one to two sessions, Chaperon said.
“As physical therapists we provide easy access and work with the patient to develop a comprehensive treatment plan, including balance training, strengthening, general conditioning and fall risk assessment, with goals specific to them,” McFarland said.
About the Tidewater Physical Therapy Magruder Clinic in Hampton:
The Tidewater Physical Therapy Magruder Clinic in Hampton offers comprehensive and specialize physical therapy services, including temporomandibular disorders treatment, balance and fall prevention, dry needling, arthritis and osteoporosis treatment and vestibular rehabilitation.
The Magruder Clinic is located next to Hampton Family Practice in the Central Park office complex.
Hours are Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The office phone number is 757-825-3400.
Tidewater Physical Therapy is an independently owned practice with more than 30 clinics (including Hand Therapy Centers, Performance Centers and Aquatic Therapy Centers) in Southeast and Central Virginia. Many of the clinicians are Direct Access certified and can treat patients without a referral from a physician.
To learn more about Direct Access, the Magruder Clinic, or to find a location, visit www.tpti.com.