A vestibular physiotherapist is a highly trained specialist physiotherapist who can assess and manage different types of vertigo, dizziness, and unsteadiness. Vestibular physiotherapists work extremely closely with GPs and medical specialists – specifically ENTs and neurologists.
Whilst we all started as ‘traditional physios,’ treating sore knees and backs, vestibular physiotherapists have undertaken further study and completed comprehensive vestibular courses, meaning we predominately solely treat vertigo and other vestibular patients.
Your trained vestibular physiotherapist can use a variety of safe, effective, and evidence-based assessment and treatment techniques. A typical assessment will involve testing your balance, eye and head movement, and your vestibular system. The assessment will also involve laying down on the treatment bed to assess if you have any vertigo symptoms – a safe, globally recognised, evidence-based assessment.
Depending on your specific condition, the treatment may include completing a repositioning manoeuvre. This safe treatment involves positioning your head in a series of positions – aiming to reposition the little ‘crystals’ within your inner ear. Treatment may also include balance exercises and eye gaze stabilisation exercises. Please note, no joint manipulations will ever be performed.
Vestibular simply means your balance centre. Anatomically, we all have two vestibular apparatuses – one in each inner ear. These vestibular apparatuses are responsible for our balance and awareness of where we are in space.
Please allow approximately 60 minutes for your initial appointment, and bring any referrals, test results, or doctor letters that you may have that are relevant to your condition.
We will start by taking a thorough history about your dizziness/vertigo and your medical history. We will then commence the physical assessments, which may include balance tests, eye movement tests, head movement tests, and positional tests.
Given vertigo and other vestibular conditions may induce symptoms such as nausea and dizziness, we recommend you bring someone with you to the appointment that is able to drive you home if required. We also recommend you don’t have a large meal prior to your appointment (unless medically required).
It is important to appreciate that to correctly assess your vertigo, we may induce some dizziness and vertigo, and at time, nausea. Whilst not intending to provoke these symptoms, it’s important to note they sometimes cannot be avoided. Feeling a little nauseous after our appointment can be quite normal, however this is usually brief and should settle quite quickly.
Generally, treatment is not claimable with Medicare. Treatment will only be claimable with Medicare if your GP has provided you with an Enhanced Primary Care plan (EPC) / Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM). Please note we do not bulk bill, so there will be a fee in addition to your Medicare plan. Please speak to your GP about these Medicare plans, to determine your eligibility.
Yes, if you have physiotherapy extra cover you may be able to claim. Given each private health insurance is different, please check with your own private health company. The initial consultation item code is 500, and the follow-up consultation code is 505.