There were 525 participants who attended the conference and I cannot tell you how passionate this group of people were. Vestibular practitioners do this job because they love it, they ultimately want the best recovery for their patients, they are lifelong learners who are constantly researching evidence-based care, and are full of empathy. Being an exhibitor gave me to opportunity to have many conversations (we seriously got kicked out the first night because no one was leaving he exhibit hall and we just wanted more time together). The hotel employee kept coming around with a little bell telling us to get moving and go home. A takeaway from the conference that I wanted to share with you is the many different scenarios where clinicians though VIZSTIM kits could be useful. I’ll give real life examples but will make up the names and details a bit to paint a picture for you.
Jane travels 3 hours to the nearest vestibular rehabilitation therapist and is often times too symptomatic to participate in therapy. Oftentimes the bulk of the appointment is spent with education, nervous system calming, and homework but little exercise is tolerated in clinic. Jane also spreads out her visits because of the distance traveled and checks in with her therapist every 2 weeks but has not made improvements thus far. Jane’s therapist could have a clinician kit in the clinic and Jane could purchase a VIZSTIM kit for home. They could then utilize virtual visits to progress through the exercises at home. This is guided by her current vestibular therapist after her individualized plan of care and exercises can be customized to her needs. This alleviates the need for travel into the clinic and the 100 day journal could help identify lifestyle modification needs for overall wellness and reduction of vestibular symptoms.
Julie enters her client’s home to perform vestibular rehabilitation and works for 30 minutes twice a week. Since repetition matters it would be ideal for the client to have an ongoing routine so Julie leaves a post it note on the fridge to remind her client to do the exercises but when she visits again the client reports she didn’t remember how to do the exercises. VIZSTIM kits come with video access so clients can have the tools on hand and then refer to the video library whenever they need to. The VIZSTIM kit also promotes autonomy where the patient learns how much of an exercise they can tolerate and what movements trigger their symptoms. This helps lead to a better understanding of their disorder and how to live their lives without fear of making themselves worse.
A neuro intensive week is a full immersion into rehab for 5 days where the client may travel and stay to access the specialist in concussion or vestibular rehabilitation. Because they are seeing someone for hours a day with a higher intensity their recovery is quicker and leads to better outcomes. These intensives work well because they promote the principles of neuroplasticity. Therapists follow the principles of neuroplasticity for brain change which include repetition, salience, and use it or lose it. Basically, the more we do something the better we get at it and we move from a cognitive state using a lot of energy for a task towards a more automatic phase where we use less energy and are more accurate. Now I was talking with a few therapists who have this type of week long immersion and felt a VIZSTIM kit would help carryover to home for ongoing vestibular exercises. They could utilize the kits as a way to promote the transition back to home while keeping those principles of neuroplasticity.
Unfortunately, long term conditions such as vestibular migraine, PPPD, and uncompensated vestibular hypofunction are becoming more common either because of better accuracy diagnosing these conditions are changes in our lifestyle and environmental risks. The truth is there are many people suffering for years of vestibular dysfunction. Meet Matthew who has been to vestibular rehabilitation 3 times over the past 4 years. He typically feels better when he is getting therapy but he gets discharged and after a few months loses the gains that he made. What Matthew could really benefit from is long term vestibular rehabilitation but insurance isn’t going to approve that so he could supplement with a VIZSTIM vestibular dysfunction kit for home in order to promote his exercise routine. The exercises can be done while working out on a bike or during his breaks from the computer screen instead of needing a large chunk of time.
Now there are more scenarios but I thought this included the most common uses. VIZSTIM is really a tool to help vestibular warriors on their journey to healing by giving them the tools on hand to strengthen the vestibular system.