Eisenhower Balance Institute
One in 10 visits to the doctor includes the complaint of dizziness or imbalance. These symptoms are often dismissed as the insignificant consequences of other disorders or as a natural part of aging. Vertigo and associated balance difficulties result in profound disruptions in daily life. Fractures related to falls cause a major loss of independence and often lead to the need for assisted living, and occasionally, serious injury and even death. Balance symptoms can be addressed to improve functional independence and prevent future falls and injuries.
The Eisenhower Balance Institute is a joint service between the Eisenhower Health Rehabilitation Services department and the Desert Ear, Nose and Throat group located on the Eisenhower Health campus in Rancho Mirage. The two form a comprehensive balance program that evaluates and treats balance deficits and vertigo. The staff of physical therapists and audiologists specializes in managing vestibular deficits and other balance-related problems such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, orthopedic issues and head injuries. A medical director oversees all programs.
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Why is this resource unique?
The Balance Institute is the only facility in the Coachella Valley that uses the SMART EquiTest® and Bertec Balance Advantage® Systems to assess balance. With this computerized technology, the clinician is able to provide an objective balance evaluation of the sensory and motor parts of the balance system and design a customized training program for specific balance problems.
How do I know if I might benefit from this service?
You might benefit if you:
- Experience dizziness or motion sensitivity
- Have suffered one or more falls in the past six months
- Are an active older person often walking in unfamiliar surroundings
- Have peripheral neuropathies or other sensory or strength deficits
- Take five or more medications
Why might I need balance or vestibular training?
The benefits of balance and vestibular training include identification of the cause of your imbalance and the underlying musculoskeletal/neurological factors, managing the effects of dizziness, increased functional independence and prevention of further falls and injuries.
What does treatment involve?
Depending on your individual condition, it may involve:
- Comprehensive testing, by an audiologist, designed to identify the source of the dysfunction
- Therapeutic exercise for key muscle groups to improve balance reactions
- Balance challenges in various environments (uneven surfaces, curb or area with low light)
- Balance exercise for sensory integration
- Training to improve automatic postural reactions and encourage postural control
- Exercise to decrease motion sensitivity and vertigo
- Treatment of positional vertigo with canalith repositioning (a non-surgical procedure which involves rotating the head and body to move tiny particles that are naturally present in the inner ear to relieve dizziness symptoms)
- Education on the prevention of falls and the recurrence of vertigo
A physician's prescription with a diagnosis is required. Treatment at Eisenhower Health's Rehabilitation Services department is covered by most insurance providers. An initial appointment can be made by calling or walking in to the department. If faxing the prescription, please include the patient's telephone number so that an appointment may be scheduled. Following the initial evaluation by a licensed therapist, additional appointments will be made based on medical necessity.