Carrick F, McLellan K, Brock J, et. al. Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Novel Brain and Vestibular Rehabilitation Treatment Modality in PTSD Patients Who Have Suffered Combat-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries. Frontiers in Public Health. Volume 3, 2015. Number 00015.
Click the hot link above for the abstract. You can download the full text article free at the site too.
In the last brain injury course I took, I was interested to learn of the connection between TBI, mTBI and vestibular dysfunction. It makes since, especially in a blast related causative factor: if your brain’s been shaken to pieces, your vestibular system is probably a little off. And there’s no great leap from there that vestibular problems would complicated a PTSD diagnosis. Vestibular problems can be very disorienting for Average Joe Schmoe here at home, but at the psychologic disorientation of PTSD to vestibular problems…whew! I can only imagine.
If you read the full text article you will find this statement regarding the plan of care:
“Each subject was treated with strategies central to gaze stabilization with head movements and activation of the vestibular–ocular response, off axis whole body rotation, visual pursuit, and visual saccadic eye movements to novel targets [well described in Ref. (26–30)].”
Then they go on to state that of course each patient is an individual, and that this is just the “bag of tricks” from which the plan was pulled from, but everyone did not necessarily receive all of these treatments. With the exception of “off axis whole body rotation” a vestibular physical therapist should be able to set up a decent plan of care incorporating these treatment strategies for this patient population.
Perhaps we physical therapists need to reach out to our psychiatrists and psychologist colleagues with this information so, we too can do all we can to bring our troops home.