Host: Dr. Scott Jablonka (Carolina Movement Doc)
Guest: Dr. Chris Long
Today’s conversation focuses on Vestibular Rehabilitation, especially as it relates to active people and professional athletes.
In this episode, Dr. Jablonka, Caroline Movement Doc, sits with Dr. Chris Long, Founder of Platinum Rehab Specialists, as he highlights the main symptoms of vestibular issues, the different causes, and the approach to successful treatment.
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- “Those people that are staying active are usually the ones that hate being inactive”
– [Dr. Chris Long]
- “Everyone’s an athlete, we all just play different sports”
– [Dr. Scott Jablonka]
- “If you can convince a vestibular patient who’s dizzy all the time that you’re going to make them dizzier to get them better, you can convince anybody that you’re going to do anything for them to help”
– [Dr. Chris Long]
- “The brain can’t fix what it can’t see”
– [Dr. Chris Long]
- [00:30] Intro.
- [02:04] Understanding Vestibular Rehabilitation.
- [02:10] Meet our guest, Dr. Chris Long
- [03:28] How Dr. Long got into physical therapy
- [06:33] About Platinum Rehab Specialists.
- [07:25] Vestibular Rehab; 3 groups of causes.
- [08:39] How Vestibular problems affect physically active people.
- [15:03] Implementing vestibular rehab in Dr. Long’s practice.
- [22:25] Connect with Dr. Long.
Dr. Chris Long
After struggling as a student with repeated episodes of low back pain, knee pain, ankle sprain, and muscle tears, Dr. Long was motivated to help other people facing similar challenges. He was particularly interested in non-medicinal methods of treatment.
He has previously worked with Benchmark Physical Therapy in Charlotte but the bureaucracies of healthcare weighed him down. He now works on his own. Just like Dr. Jablonka, Dr. Long runs a cash-based physical therapy office. They don’t deal through insurance agencies, rather they work directly with patients and are dedicated to ensuring client satisfaction in recovery. This makes the patient the boss. And their offices must produce to survive. So together, they are free to treat what needs to be treated for the betterment of the patient.
Despite being nervous, Dr. Long started Platinum Rehab Specialists and has done very well so far.
What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?
Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercised-based treatment program that promotes vestibular adaptation and substitution. The primary goals are to enhance gaze stability and postural stability and to improve vertigo and daily activities.
Dizziness is particularly problematic for physically active people because it makes movement incredibly difficult, and can occur as a big bang attack lasting from hours to days.
Dr. Long actually teaches treatment for Vestibular Rehabilitation. The American Institute of Balance offers certification courses in vestibular rehab for professionals with an interest in the niche.
It also helps offer an additional perspective on the cause of complaints. Patients will often come in for a different reason and through conversation, the provider must figure out what is truly needing treatment. Things that may seem insignificant to the layperson are actually very important for the provider to know. Often, a multidisciplinary approach is necessary to ascertain the cause of complaints.
When seeing patients with vestibular symptoms, It is quite challenging to convince them that the symptoms have to be stirred up for them to get better. This calls for a lot of creativity. Once possible and they get better, then all aspects of treatment are easier.
The goal is to get the patient to engage in those activities that trigger symptoms to create awareness in the brain of the problem for easy observation of improvement. “If the brain can’t see it, it won’t fix it.”
These impaired routine daily activities have a huge impact on individuals, especially sportspersons. The rehabilitation is life-changing for them.
Who benefits from Vestibular Rehabilitation?
Most patients present with dizziness and balance issues, the cause of which can be categorized into 3.
- The first group is a mechanical issue due to things such as crystals in the ear
- The second group involves musculoskeletal issues occurring in the neck or other areas of the body affected by diseases like Diabetes
- The last group includes a large number of other medical possibilities
Dr. Jablonka himself has had 7 concussions from playing competitive soccer. Things get off and it’s miserable because active people don’t like to be inactive. Dr. Jablonka couldn’t move. He couldn’t even get out of his bed or look over his shoulder. He had to go home and wait it out for months because their trainer was not versed in Vestibular Rehabilitation.
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