Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program, designed by a specially trained physical therapist, to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related problems. The therapist will identify any problems with balance, gait (how you walk), neck motion and visual stability, as well as examine other potential problem areas. Based on the findings, the physical therapist will develop a plan of care designed to help reduce your risk of falling and improve your daily functioning abilities.

Who can benefit from vestibular rehabilitation?

Healthcare providers refer people with the following diagnoses for vestibular rehabilitation:

  • Dizziness.
  • Imbalance.
  • Vertigo.
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
  • Neck-related dizziness and migraines.

People who’ve had a stroke, brain injury or who frequently fall may also benefit from this type of rehabilitation.

What may rehabilitation involve?

Rehabilitation might include the following:

  • Gaze stability exercises.
  • Repositioning maneuvers for positional dizziness.
  • Posture training.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Balance retraining.
  • Gait training.
  • Neck motion exercises.
  • General conditioning exercises.

What types of recovery/outcomes can be expected?

No two exercise treatment plans are exactly alike. Your exercise program is developed based on your individual needs. Continuing your exercise plan at home can help prevent and/or treat problems such as dizziness and imbalance, depending on the type of condition.

Expected vestibular rehabilitation outcomes

The outcomes of rehabilitation can include:

  • Decreased fall risk.
  • Decreased dizziness symptoms.
  • Improved balance.
  • Improved ability to stabilize vision and gaze.
  • Increased body strength.
  • A return to your prior level of movement and function.
  • Increased confidence in your ability to maintain balance.
  • Improved neck motion.