What is the Balance Institute?
The Balance Institute is a new service at Eisenhower Medical Center that evaluates and treats balance deficits and vertigo. The staff of physical therapists and audiologists specializes in managing vestibular deficits and other balance-related problems such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, orthopedic issues and head injuries. A medical director oversees all programs.
Why is this resource unique?
The Balance Institute is the only facility in the Coachella Valley that uses the SMART EquiTest® System to assess balance. With this computerized technology, the clinician is able to provide an objective balance evaluation of the sensory and motor parts of the balance system and design acustomized training program for specific balance problems.
How do I know if I might benefit from this service?
You might benefit if you:
- Experience dizziness or motion sensitivity.
- Have suffered one or more falls in the past six months.
- Are an active older person often walking in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Have peripheral neuropathies or other sensory or strength deficits.
Take five or more medications.
Why might I need balance or vestibular training?
One in 10 visits to the doctor includes the complaint of dizziness or imbalance. These symptoms are often dismissed as the insignificant consequence of other disorders or as a natural part of aging. Vertigo and associated balance difficulties result in profound disruptions in daily life. Fractures related to falls cause a major loss of independence and often lead to the need for assisted living, and occasionally, serious injury and even death. The benefits of balance and vestibular training include identification of the cause of your imbalance and the underlying musculoskeletal/neurological factors, managing the effects of dizziness, increased functional independence and prevention of further falls and injuries.
What does treatment involve?
Depending on your individual condition, it may involve:
- Therapeutic exercise for key muscle groups to improve balance reactions.
- Balance challenges in various environments (uneven surfaces, curb or area with low light).
- Balance exercise for sensory integration.
- Training to improve automatic postural reactions and encourage postural control.
- Exercise to decrease motion sensitivity and vertigo.
- Treatment of positional vertigo with canalith repositioning (a non-surgical procedure which involves rotating the head and body to move tiny particles that are naturally present in the inner ear to relieve dizziness symptoms).
- Education on the prevention of falls and the recurrence of vertigo.
- For more information, please call 760-773-1494.