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Vestibular Disorders & Orthostatic Intolerance

Orthostatic Intolerance & Vestibular Therapy

Do you suffer from Orthostatic Intolerance, Dizziness, Vertigo, Tinnitus, Lightheadedness, mal debarquement syndrome, or Post-Concussion symptoms?

This form of neurological rehabilitation is specifically designed to recalibrate the way the brain senses gravity through the vestibular system. As people move around in the world and transition from lying down to standing, running, or playing sports, it is the vestibular-otolithic system’s job to senses changes in graviceptive input. The vestibular system then relays the message to the autonomic nervous system to adapt and change the heart rate, blood supply, and blood pressure to meet the current demands on the body in reference to gravity. These pathways are complex and the signals can get damaged or disrupted at multiple locations in the brain.

Orthostatic intolerance developments when the autonomic nervous system is damaged. Proper detection of our bodies moving in gravity is vital for every activity we do as human beings. When the autonomic nervous system receives inaccurate signals from the vestibular system it becomes difficult to carry out normal tasks such as standing upright without getting lightheaded or dizzy and even more difficult to think clearly or control emotions as usual.

Vestibular pathways must fire into all brain structures so that we can constantly know where we are in space. Since the vestibular system sends information to many brain structures it can be used to rehabilitate neurological conditions that seem unrelated to balance and vestibular function. The vestibular system detects motion of the head in space and in turn generates reflexes that are crucial for our daily activities, such as stabilizing the visual axis (gaze) and maintaining head and body posture. In addition, the vestibular system provides us with our subjective sense of movement and orientation in space. Higher Cortical processing of vestibular input is important for generating the appropriate motor response and provides us with our subjective sense of where our body is in relation to where our environment is. These pathways communicate messages to our conscious brain allowing us to produce purposeful accurate movements as well as unconscious reflexive movements which are all apart of our everyday life.

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