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Find Your Balance

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St. Luke’s Physical Therapist Katie Peterson, DPT, helps a patient with balance issues at St. Luke’s Miller Creek Medical Clinic in Hermantown.

Physical therapists help people with balance issues in Duluth

Dizziness, nausea or unsteadiness simply from changes in head or body position can be very frightening. These symptoms can appear suddenly, often leading people to the emergency room, urgent care or their primary care doctor to find out what’s going on.

The most common cause is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, also known as BPPV or positional vertigo. The good news? This balance disorder is highly treatable. In fact, BPPV can often be remedied with the help of a physical therapist who has specialized training in vestibular rehab.

Vestibular rehab involves using exercises to address dizziness, poor balance, poor postural control or issues with vision. St. Luke’s Physical Therapist Katie Peterson, DPT, is certified in vestibular rehab and frequently treats people with positional vertigo.

“Seeing a patient go from feeling awful and scared to a full resolution of symptoms, often with just a few sessions, is very rewarding,” she said.

There are many other conditions that lead to dizziness and imbalance. These range from having an ear infection or long COVID, to suffering a stroke or head injury. It’s important to work with a physician to diagnose the cause.

Once a diagnosis is made, vestibular rehab is often an essential part of treatment. In addition to Peterson, St. Luke’s has several other therapists who have received specialized training in vestibular rehab.

“As a physical therapist I treat the entire body,” said Peterson, “but I find it especially interesting to help patients with this condition.”

A referral is not required for this service. To schedule an appointment, call 218.249.6040.