Dizzinesss and Balance Treatment

Physical Therapy For Vestibular Rehab and Balance Deficits

Physical therapy is indicated for many different pathologies of the vestibular system. We have the technology and specialist in both our locations, Altoona and Chippewa Falls and at DeFatta ENT.

BPPV: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Who We See: Patients are typically complaining of the room spinning for short bouts of time that resolve.It may come abprutly and there is a positional change (rolling in bed, bending over, looking up) associated with the onset of their symptoms.

What We Do: Our physical therapists use videonystagmography throughout positional testing to come to an accurate diagnosis on canal involvements. This ensures a more accurate treatment diagnosis resulting in potentially shorter bouts of care with fewer treatment sessions.

What Patients Can Expect: We typically see patients for 3-6 visits to treat BPPV. Many patients see significant improvements in their symptoms in 1-2 visits.
We have designated holds on our schedule to ensure patients that are referred with BPPV can be seen as soon as possible as this condition can be very disuptive to their lives.

Vestibular Hypofunction

Who We See: Patients typically complain of unsteadiness, difficulty with busy environmnets/patterns, difficulty in the car and difficulty with gaze stabilization. Vestibular hypofunction can occur for many reasons including infection, neuritis, labyrinthitis and symptoms may have been occuring for days to weeks. They typically do not complain of true vertigo symptoms.

What We Do: We complete thorough examinations including cranial nerve screens, screening for central involvement, oculomotor examinations and balance assessment. If appropriate, we will also use videonystamography.

What Patients Can Expect: Longer bouts of care with visit typically 1-2 times per week. Exercises are assigned and then progressed weekly as a needed to challenge the patient. The foundation of this rehabilitation is based around gaze stabilization and adaptation of the peripheral vestibular system.


Who We See: Patients who are status post a head injury potentially from sports. MVA or a fall. These patients can range in age depending on their cause of injury.

What We Do: Examination including central signs, cranial nerve screens, assessment of disturbances to the patient's function and return to prior level. Assessment of the concussion clinical trajectories including vestibular, oculomotor, cognitive, headaches, cervical components and alterations in mood and how these will affect their rehabilitation.

What Patients Can Expect: Progressive rehabilitation with a plan of care specifically designed to address their specific deficits. Visit frequency and duration will vary depending on their presentation. incorporation of not only vestibular based rehab but incorporation of exercise, manual technique and balance training as appropriate.

Balance Deficits/Fall Risk

Who We See: Any one with balance deficits that decrease their safety with mobility and increase their fall risk.

What We Do: Throughout assessment of strength, ROM and static and dynamic balance testing to design a specific plan of care to improve the patient's balance resulting in improvements in functional mobility both in household and community. Incorporation of the patient's goals to return to their maximal function and independence.

What Patients Can Expect: 1-2 visits per week to create and prescribe a personalized home exercise program to improve the patient's deficits.