Examination and Treatment of Peripheral Vestibular Disorders

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Vestibular disorders are common in the adult population, affecting a vast number of persons over 40 years of age, with increased prevalence of vestibular dysfunction occurring with advancing age. The vestibular system is a highly specialized sensory apparatus that integrates information regarding head movement and position relative to gravity with information from the visual and somatosensory systems to mediate upright posture, postural control, and gaze stabilization. Given the highly specialized nature of this system, physical therapy management of persons with vestibular dysfunction requires additional education and training beyond what is offered in a typical entry-level physical therapy program curriculum.

The purpose of this course is to educate the practicing physical therapist on the management of patients with peripheral vestibular disorders in order to expand their current practice skill set into the subspecialty of vestibular rehabilitation. This will be accomplished through knowledge of functional anatomy of the vestibular system and current methods of evidence-based examination and the process of differential assessment to determine effective treatment of common peripheral vestibular disorders, or when referral is appropriate.

This intermediate level course is targeted at practicing physical therapists who have experience managing patients with balance dysfunction and basic knowledge of standardized gait and balance measures.


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