More than 90 million American adults experience disequilibrium or balance problems at some time in their lives. Falls are the leading cause of disabling injury in older adults. Dizziness (also known as vertigo) is the second most common complaint from a patient to a doctor.
However, most balance disorders can be treated successfully by using balance retraining and/or vestibular rehabilitation.
The Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital Balance and Performance Lab can assess and manage a wide range of balance disorders in patients of all ages. We are the only hospital in New Mexico offering Computerized Dynamic Posturography, Dynamic Visual Acuity and Functional Balance Testing, as well as specialists trained in vestibular rehabilitation.
Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital is the only facility in New Mexico to offer Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) Testing with the Neurocom®, Equitest.
CDP is a noninvasive procedure that was developed to evaluate the functional capacity and coordinated integration of all components: eyes (vision), inner ear (vestibular), and muscles and joints (somatosensory) involved in maintaining balance. CDP can determine whether one or more of the three systems are abnormal. The motor control test assesses the automatic motor system and quantifies a patient's ability to adapt and balance under varying conditions.
The EquiTest is the gold standard for balance assessment. Test results guide treatment to optimize outcomes of therapy such as decreasing fall risk, optimizing balance, performance and independence.
Positional Vertigo Testing and Treatment
There are many causes of vertigo, dizziness and/or loss of balance. One of the most common of these is Positional Vertigo. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is often discovered with diagnostic testing. People with this disorder complain of dizziness or spinning when they look up or down, bend over, lie down, get up from lying down, or when turning their head or body from side to side.
The dizziness or vertigo is generally brief; lasting less than one minute, but it can be very strong and can cause disorientation, nausea and disequilibrium.
BPPV has a number of known causes, including head injury, but sometimes just occurs spontaneously. The good news about this significant disorder is that it is very treatable. Our research shows that 93 percent of patients with BPPV can be cleared with one or two treatment sessions.
Dynamic Visual Acuity Test
The newest technology in balance and vestibular rehabilitation is computerized Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA) and Gaze Stabilization Testing (GST). The Lovelace Balance Lab is excited to offer this assessment of the patient's ability to accurately perceive objects while moving the head. The DVA quantifies the combined influence of the underlying pathology of the vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) and the patient's adaptive response to pathology.
Research has shown that the DVA is often impaired in patients with peripheral vestibular deficits. Vestibular Therapy has been shown to be the main factor in recovery of Dynamic visual acuity in patients with vestibular loss.
DVA testing is an excellent objective measure of impairment and of outcome from vestibular rehabilitation, providing precise indication of the patient's ability to see objects clearly while performing daily life movement tasks.
Vestibular and Balance Therapy
Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation is the exercise-based approach to lessening the severity of dizziness, balance problems, and associated limitations. Patients undergo comprehensive physical therapy assessments of strength, dynamic balance skills, and movement tolerance to determine an individualized and customized exercise program.
Research has shown these specialized exercises to be very effective at lessening the severity symptoms and improving function in all ages, which may include anyone from children to the elderly, athletes and professionals. Treatment frequency and duration varies according to initial findings but typically averages one treatment session each week for 8-10 visits.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, which may result in balance problems or dizziness as well as other signs and symptoms such as headache, nausea, blurred vision, and concentration or memory problems. Most people with a concussion will recover quickly and fully with rest. But for some people, signs and symptoms can last for weeks or longer.
The Lovelace Balance Lab has a team of trained therapists who can screen, evaluate and treat people who are suffering from concussion or post-concussion syndrome. Our technologies and care options will provide your family physician, neurologist and other medical providers with objective data to help them make medical decisions about an athlete's return to play and recommendations for therapy to optimize performance.
For more information about our services, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at:
Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital
505 Elm St. N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Pain clinic: 505.727.7177