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A physical therapy evaluation to determine your specific vestibular disorder is paramount to a proper resolution

The Vestibular System is the part of the inner ear and the brain that process sensory information that contribute to your balance control. The 8th cranial nerve brings information to and from the ear which allows one to hear and to maintain a sense of equilibrium in any position. There are 2 other systems that provide input for your balance: the visual system and the somatosensory system. You can read more about those systems in the balance and gait section on our website.

The inner ear is made of a series of semi-circular canals that appear like a snail’s shell


Can you see it? The purple structure at the end of the ear canal. These semi-circular canals is a fascinating set of equipment. Essentially, you need to imagine that a cup of Jell-O has some pieces of chocolate chips resting on it. As you shake the Jell-O, the chips jiggle. When you move your head, you have fluid shifting in your inner ear and there are little crystals that move in response to the fluid.

This sends a series of signals to the brain which understands which direction you are moving in and then sends information to your body to anticipate or react so that you do not fall or lose your balance. Now imagine that the little crystals are stuck and do not move as needed.


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