Vertigo, Vestibular & Balance

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program, designed by a specialized physical therapist, to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related problems. A physical therapist will evaluate your symptoms. Based on the findings, a plan of care is developed. The goal of your treatment plan is to improve any deficits that were identified. This will improve your ability to function in activities of everyday living.


Dix-Hallpike Maneuver

Diagnostic test used to identify Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Symptoms may include:

  • 5-10 onset symptoms
  • Nystagmus (beating of eyes)
  • Reversal of Nystagmus when brought back into sitting
  • The biggest benefit to this maneuver is the clearing of Otoliths or crystal in the various inner ear canal that disruption the body’s sense of position.
  • Total Body System Rehabilitation

Somatosensory – composed of your sensory nerves and muscle coordination. These work together to keep your body upright when it is physically displaced. This is stimulated by physically moving the body while the patient attempts to remain stationary or standing on unsteady surfaces.

Vestibular – the body’s sense of its place in space. Controlled mainly by the inner ear. This is stimulated by having the patient close their eyes and attempt to remain still. It can be further stressed by standing on an unsteady surface.

Visual – the hardest of the three systems to stimulate, the visual system relies on where you visually perceive your body to be in space. This can be stimulated by making the patients visual surroundings appear to be moving.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms that you might be suffering from Vestibular Disturbances

  • Dizziness

  • A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)

  • Lightheadedness

  • Unsteadiness

  • A loss of balance

  • Blurred vision associated with the sensation of vertigo

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

These symptoms can affect your daily activities like driving, dressing, change body, positions, showering and walking.

Balance Issues

Vestibular and Balance issues can lead to an increase in fall risks.

  • One out of every three adults of 65 fall each year. One out of every two at 80.

  • Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in the elderly.

  • 90% of hip fractures are a result of fall-related injuries.

  • 25% of patients 50 and older die within a year of fracturing their hip (40% in year two).

  • The total cost of fall-related injuries for patients 65 and older in 2012 was over 20 billion dollars.