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Bryan Center for Dizziness and Balance

Balance allows you to maintain a stable and upright position when sitting, standing, reaching, walking and leaning. If you have a balance problem, you may experience tripping, swaying, stumbling, dizziness, vertigo or even falling. Your balance may seem fine when standing still or performing a single task, but balance problems may become apparent when you move about or try to do more than one thing at a time, such as walking while turning your head to talk to another person. Balance problems occur when one or more of four systems in your body are not working properly:

  • Vision
  • Inner ear (also called vestibular)
  • Awareness of your body position
  • Muscular system

The brain coordinates impulses from your eye, inner ear and body position, and sends signals to your muscles to move or make adjustments to maintain your balance. If one or more senses is not sending correct signals to your brain, or if your muscles cannot move the way they should, you may not be able to maintain or correct your balance.

Balance and Fall Evaluations

Our evaluation begins with a detailed history and physical screening to determine what specific tests are appropriate for your condition.

Balance and Inner Ear (Vestibular) Testing

Your balance/vestibular/fall evaluation will include looking at your health history, including falls and current medications, assessing how well you can move your joints, muscle strength and coordination, and testing your mobility and walking skills. Your therapist also may use one or more of the following tests:

  • Neurocom Balance Master - This equipment uses highly sensitive force plates that you stand on. It simulates various scenarios like moving pictures, that test how you react and are challenged by the scenarios. A computer gathers information and uses it to measure how your body responds.
  • Video Frenzel Goggles - These closely monitor and video record your eye movements which can give the therapist information regarding inner ear issues. (The nerve that controls our eye movements and inner ear are connected.)
  • VSR Sport - These tests check for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (also called benign positional vertigo or BPPV), the most common cause of dizziness.
  • Berg balance test, Dynamic Gait Index, timed get up and go, walking tests, square stepping test, how well you can reach and others, all give your therapist information about you and your balance and help them create a treatment program just for you.

Fall Evaluation

Your evaluation will focus specifically on the function of your inner ear by testing eye movements and responses of eye movements to head movements. Because the inner ear and nerves that control the eye muscles are connected, the data gathered by performing these tests and observing the visual response can help with diagnosis. This data can give your therapist specific information on the cause of your issues and design a program to address your unique needs. Also included is testing for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), the most common cause of dizziness.

Balance and Vestibular Therapy

Based on evaluation and testing, a specific treatment plan will  be developed to improve and develop your balance system. Our specially trained therapist will choose a focus of therapy consistent with your impairments. Your therapist will then work to improve your balance and decrease your risk of falling.

The vestibular system is an area that not all therapist are specifically trained in. Our therapists not only have specialized training but also have vestibular specialty certification. They'll work on improving and integrating all three systems including hyper- and hypo-active vestibular systems. We understand that not all vestibular issues can be improved with therapy but many can be helped by our program.

Balance and Fall Prevention Education

An extremely important part of the therapy process is physical therapy education. Once the data is collected from your evaluation, we will work with you to overcome the deficit and educate you on things you can do to decrease your risk of falling. Education topics could include:

  • Footwear
  • Balance strategies
  • Environmental changes
  • Medication awareness
  • Low light situations

Schedule an Appointment Today

Bryan Medical Center:
To schedule an appointment, call 402-481-5121
For information and questions, call 402-481-9445

Crete Area Medical Center:
To schedule an appointment, call 402-826-6541

Merrick Medical Center:
To schedule an appointment, call 308-946-3015

polly kubik

Polly Kubik, physical therapist, vestibular therapist

Polly Kubik, PT, is a 1995 graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She has done post-graduate studies in balance and vestibular rehabilitation including vestibular certification through Emory University; Neurocom Balance master integration training; and community based fall prevention work. The majority of her practice is working with neuro-rehabilitation patients. She provides comprehensive vestibular and balance testing services as well as prosthetic training for amputees.

Provides therapy at: Bryan West Campus and Bryan LifePointe Campus

laura corbridge

Laura Corbridge, physical therapist 

Laura Corbridge received her master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Iowa in 1999. She has worked with both adult and pediatric patients and specializes in treating those with neurological disorders including traumatic brain injury, stroke and other progressive neurological disorders. She also treats patients with chronic lung conditions. Laura has had advanced training in balance and vestibular rehabilitation including Neurocom Balance master integration training and Emory University’s certification of vestibular competency. Laura provides comprehensive vestibular balance testing services and pulmonary therapy.

Provides therapy at: Bryan West Campus

Robb SchnitzlerRobb Schnitzler, PT, Astym Certified

Robb earned a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha. He has worked at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, South Dakota, Grand Island Physical Therapy, and for the past 25 years has provided care at Litzenberg Memorial County Hospital. He received Astym certification in 2015. He enjoys working with patients in outpatient rehab, acute care, and skilled nursing settings. His professional focus includes orthopedics, post-operative rehabilitation, sports medicine, geriatrics, back and neck rehab, and work injuries.

Provides therapy at: Merrick Medical Center

Melissa Gragg, MPT Melissa Gragg, MPT

Melissa earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Nebraska in Kearney, Nebraska, and a master of arts degree in physical therapy from Rockhurst University. She has worked in many settings, including acute care, acute rehab, outpatient rehab, home health, pediatric clinic, public school and skilled rehab. She has extensive experience in Nervo-based therapies such as CVA, TBIY, and SCI. She also is certified in level one functional dry needling. 

Provides physical therapy at: Merrick Medical Center


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