Vestibular rehabilitation is the term used for the non medical, non surgical management of dizziness and balance disorders. The aims of vestibular rehabiliation are to reduce dizziness, improve balance and prevent falls in patients. Vestibular rehabilitation consists of counselling, fall risk identification, environmental safety, manoeuvres, exercises and general improvement of mobilisation. It is usually offered by a trained physiotherapist or audiologist and is very effective if utilised for the correct reason. It sould be performed meticulously to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
Balance assessment questionnaires and fall risk
What is your fall risk?
The Tinetti test (TT) or Performance Oriented Motion Assessment (POMA) assesses static and dynamic balance. It looks at sitting, standing and walking abilities. It can be used as a risk indicator for falls in the elderly. It needs to be performed under supervision to avoid injury.
The Dynamic gait index
The Dynamic gait index (DGI) helps to assess the likelihood of falling in the elderly. It tests different aspects of gait while performing level walking exercises and more complex tasks. The required tasks represent everyday experiences during walking. It needs to be performed under supervision to avoid injury.
The Berg Balance Scale
The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) measures balance function in the elderly with a limitation in balance function. It assesses the performance of functional tasks. It needs to be performed under supervision to avoid injury.
Computerised dynamic posturography (CDP)
Computerised dynamic posturography (CDP) is an assessment tool of balance. It can also be used for vestibular rehabilitation. There are currently two “Equitest” systems from Neurocom available in South Africa.