How much is too much?

For patients participating in vestibular rehab, there is often a fine line between working aggressively on your exercises to facilitate recovery and overdoing it (and paying for it). Figuring out what is just enough, but not too much is as much an art as a science.  Here are some basic guidelines for monitoring your response to exercise and activity.

1) Know your baseline.  It is important to get in touch with how you feel when you are at your best.  Admittedly, this may not be that great if you are in the early phases of recovery.  For many people, waking up is the best time of the day.  No matter when it is, take account of your symptoms on a 0 to 10 scale, with 0 being no symptoms and 10 is the worst you can imagine.

2) Exercises and activities help your brain adapt, compensate or substitute in ways that will decrease your dizziness and improve your stability.  It is counterintuitive, but doing what makes you dizzy is often the best road to recovery, BUT… The key is moderation.  Once you know your baseline, exercises and activities should take you 1-2 points higher than where your symptoms were when you started.

3) Recovery is also key.  Once you have stopped your exercises, it is important to return to baseline fairly quickly, usually about 1 hour or less.  This assumes that what you do afterwards is fairly benign.  If recovery takes many hours, maybe it would be best to do less per session, but try to get in more sessions.

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