Vestibular Patient Joan Mowbray
It was August 15, 2015 when Preston, Maryland resident Joan Mowbray suddenly woke up in the middle of the night with extreme vertigo and nausea. She knew she needed help right away. She had experienced similar symptoms a few years prior; however, this time the vertigo was much worse. She immediately woke her husband William, who then drove her to the hospital. In Joan’s perspective, everything around her was spinning; she couldn’t even walk on her own. Once she got to the hospital, the doctors ran several tests, including a cat scan. In order to stop the symptoms, Joan was given IV medication. She was released after several hours in the hospital but knew that the symptoms wouldn’t necessarily stop there. Joan needed a more permanent solution.
Joan learned that her symptoms may be due to a vestibular disorder. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that processes the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages this processing area, vestibular disorders can result. Vestibular rehabilitation (VR), or vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specialized form of therapy intended to alleviate both the primary and secondary problems caused by vestibular disorders. It is an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gaze instability and/or imbalance and falls. About a week later, Joan made an appointment with Craig L. Joachimowski, PT, OCS, CHT, at Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Seaford clinic. Joan wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, so she was a bit uneasy going into her appointment. Her worries were immediately eradicated when she spoke with Craig, who explained that he had seen many patients with vestibular disorders and had his competency in vestibular rehabilitation therapy.
After running several tests, Craig explained to Joan that the issues she was having were due to crystals in her ears that were effecting her equilibrium and making her feel off-balance, dizzy and nauseous. The exercises he planned for Joan helped balance these crystals and ease Joan’s vertigo and other symptoms. Some of these exercises included Joan moving her head and eyes around in various motions. Once she started her vestibular therapy, she felt relief almost immediately. Joan worked with Craig for about three months. The Seaford clinic was very flexible and allowed her to make appointments around her schedule, so she never had to miss a day of work.
Today, Joan is feeling much better, although she sometimes has to take it easy so her symptoms do not return. Joan continues to work on her exercises with the encouraging help of her husband. In looking back at her experience with Tidewater Physical Therapy, Joan says that Craig was extremely knowledgeable and knew exactly what to do to make her feel comfortable throughout the whole experience. She is extremely grateful for all the help she received from Craig and all of the staff at the Seaford clinic. She never suspected that her vertigo issues could be alleviated by working with a physical therapist!