A very simple explanation of a Balance Disorder is a feeling of unsteadiness or dizziness. The feeling you are moving, spinning or floating, even when you are standing still or lying down. Balance disorders can be caused by some health conditions, medications you are taking, or a problem with your inner ear or brain.
Chiropractors are fully qualified and registered health professionals who are highly trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the neuromuscular skeletal system. The Ashgrove Spinal Centre’s chiropractor, Dr Bailey, has also completed a Masters Degree of Functional Neurology with The Carrick Institute and is a member of The Australian Academy or Functional Neurology.
Chiropractic Functional Neurology is a specialist level training offered to chiropractors whom have first completed a Masters of Chiropractic. It involves over 400 hours of extra study in functional neurology at an accredited higher educational institution.
How will my balance be tested?
We will obtain a necessary medical history from you, check your visual clarity and perform a simple hearing test. We will do a physical evaluation that may include checking your reflexes, sensation, muscle strength and tone, coordination, gait and stance.
Then we will do a series of simple, non-invasive balance tests, using the sensitive CAPS™ force platform and additional special software. We will also look for signs of nystagmus, a rapid, jerky movement of the eyes that often indicates the presence of a balance disorder.
What is a CAPS™ force platform?
A CAPS™ force platform is an extremely sensitive force platform and specially designed software combined in a product years ahead of anything else available today (the CAPS™ is so unique, it has been awarded 2 separate U.S. patents, 1 for its design and 1 for the way it works).
The CAPS™ is so sensitive it can display your heartbeat and respiration. In fact, it is so sensitive it can even measure the forces caused by someone simply blowing breath across its surface.
The extraordinary sensitivity of the CAPS™ allows Dr Bailey to measure otherwise imperceptible, undetectable movements you are always making when you are standing, even though you appear to be absolutely still.
The CAPS™ can detect abnormal balance in just 25 seconds, instantly comparing your results to normative data established by testing hundreds of people at a major medical school.
The CAPS™ then generates a report, quantifies your balance and provides Dr Bailey with an objective balance score. It even provides warnings when results are abnormal for your age.
After all these steps have been performed, Dr Bailey will review the results to determine if your problem originates in your vestibular system, your central nervous system or somewhere else in your body.
Once serious medical conditions are ruled out, it is important to manage your condition in a conservative way. If he concludes your problem would benefit from the type of specialised treatment he is trained to provide, those treatments will be discussed with you and a treatment plan will be agreed upon.
Dr Bailey is a fully qualified and registered health professional who is highly trained to diagnose and/or treat conditions of the neuromuscular skeletal system. Dr Bailey works with many other medical professionals and will always refer to your GP or other Medical Specialist if your condition is not one that is suitable to be treated with chiropractic care or if your condition requires further evaluation and/or more testing.
If I need treatment what will be involved and how long will it take?
Depending on the cause of your balance disorder, treatments may vary. Some of the common treatments we provide usually involve only some simple, but very specialised manipulations and/or exercises.
During the course of your treatment, you will be tested with the CAPS™ several times. This way, the results of your treatment will be immediately measured and documented. Some patients CAPS™ scores are higher after having only one treatment. Others require multiple treatments and multiple CAPS™ testing before they achieve optimum results.
Most of our balance patients experience an immediate improvement in their balance following treatment. In fact, many experience a dramatic improvement.
In a small percentage of cases, a treatment may actually make your balance temporarily worse, but when that happens we will know it immediately because your CAPS™ score will instantly reflect a change. We will then “reverse direction,” modify the treatment and test you again.
As mentioned before, after treatment, most of our patients experience great improvements not only in their balance but more importantly, in their overall quality of life!
If you have a balance disorder called Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo, Dr Bailey might prescribe a series of simple movements, called the Epley maneuver. You begin the Epley maneuver by sitting upright, with the help of a trained therapist, then quickly lie down on your back, turn your head to one side and wait for a minute or two before sitting back up again. For some people, one session will be all that is needed, others may need to repeat treatments over several days before their dizziness is completely resolved.
It is important to remember, Dr Bailey is a fully qualified and registered health professional trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the neuromuscular skeletal system. Dr Bailey works with many other medical professionals and will always refer to your GP or other Medical Specialist if your condition is not one that is suitable to be treated with chiropractic care or if your condition requires further evaluation and/or testing.
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