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Program Overview

The Foundations of Vestibular Rehabilitation (VR-1) course features a comprehensive overview of relevant anatomy and physiology related to balance and vestibular disorders. Participants will learn effective evaluation and treatment procedures used in Vestibular Rehabilitation.  There will be an in-depth look at common presentations of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Case studies using video oculography will help students learn to differentially diagnosis between BPPV, Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction, Cervicogenic Dizziness, Migraine Associated Dizziness, and Central lesions.  Treatment strategies for the rehabilitation of these disorders will be presented. Upon completion of this course, participants will have the tools necessary to begin effective clinical practice in the evaluation and treatment of vestibular and balance disorders.

About the Instructor

AdvRS34Tim Gibbs, PT, OCS, Cert. MDT, CCTT, CMTPT is a Physical Therapist specializing in the treatment of Vestibular, Temporomandibular and Cervical Spine Disorders. Tim completed his degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Michigan in 1984. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), including the Orthopedic and Neurology sections. He is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) with extensive training in osteopathic manipulation. He is also certified in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment of spinal disorders (Cert. MDT). Tim is a member of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP) and is a Certified Cervical and Temporomandibular Therapist (CCTT). He has served as a board member of the Physical Therapy Board of Craniofacial and Cervical Therapeutics. Tim has completed certification programs in Orofacial and full body Trigger Point Dry Needling through Myopain Seminars (CMTPT). He completed the Clinical Competency based Vestibular Rehabilitation Course at Emory University and the Advanced Competency course at Duke University. Tim has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Montana Physical Therapy program, teaching a course in the treatment of vestibular and cervical disorders. He practices full time in Kalispell, Montana where he is co-owner of an outpatient physical therapy practice.



Eligibility Requirements

The course is designed for licensed healthcare practitioners who are allowed to evaluation and treat vestibular disorders in their practice and jurisdiction, including physicians and physician assistants, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants,  occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, chiropractors, nurses, and nurse practitioners.  All participants are expected to participate in the hands-on portion of the course.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Proficiently discuss the anatomy and physiology relevant to vestibular and balance disorders.
  2. Differentially diagnose between peripheral, central, cervicogenic, and iatrogenic causes of dizziness and vertigo.
  3. Effectively diagnose and treat Posterior, Anterior, and Horizontal Canal Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
  4. Differentially diagnose and treat Vestibular Hypofunction.
  5. Differentially diagnose and treat cervicogenic causes of vestibular and balance disorders.
  6. Recognize migraine-associated vestibular symptoms and implement interventions utilized to treat this disorder.
  7. Recognize and make appropriate recommendations regarding commonly prescribed medications used in the treatment of vestibular and balance disorders.
  8. Recognize and treat central neurological abnormalities affecting vestibular and ambulatory functions.
  9. Implement treatment strategies to increase activity levels and decrease fall risk including the use of Nordic Walking Poles.
  10. Recognize cases that require Urgent Care or Specialist referral.

Note: The actual times may vary with each program at the discretion of the instructors. Coffee breaks are provided; meals are on your own.

Day 1
8:00 am-5:30 pm
8:00-8:30 Registration
8:30-9:00 Lecture:  Introduction to the Course and Objectives
9:00-9:30 Epidemiology of Vestibular Disorders and Balance Dysfunctions
9:30-10:30 Balance and Vestibular Functions Overview
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:30 Vestibular Anatomy, Physiology, and Neurology
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-5:15 Canalithiasis: Evaluation and Practicum
5:15-5:30 Question and Answer Session
End Day 1 End of Day 1
Day 2
8:30 am-5:30 pm
8:30-10:30 Cupulothiasis: Evaluation and Practicum
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:15 BPPV Summary and Discussion
11:15-12:30 Neurological Examination and Referral Considerations
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:00 Peripheral Vestibular Disorders
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15-5:15 Vestibular Hypofunction: Evaluation and Practicum
5:15-5:30 Question and Answer Session
End Day 2 End Day 2
Day 3
8:30 am-2:30 pm
8:30-10:00 Central Nervous Systems Abnormalities
10:00-11:30 Cervicogenic Dizziness: Evaluation and Practicum
11:30-12:00 Quick Lunch Break
12:00-1:00 Nordic Walking Poles, Balance and Gait Interventions
1:00-2:30 Review of BPPV, Quiz and Practical Exams