PHYSICAL THERAPY & VESTIBULAR REHABILITATION

WHAT IS VESTIBULAR REHABILITATION THERAPY (VRT)?

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a form of physical therapy aimed to reduce dizziness symptoms resulting from a variety of inner ear disorders such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. The goals of VRT are 1) to enhance gaze stability, 2) to enhance postural stability, 3) to improve vertigo, and 4) to improve activities of daily living. VRT facilitates vestibular recovery mechanisms: vestibular adaptation, substitution by the other eye-movement systems, substitution by vision, somatosensory cues, other postural strategies, and habituation(BPPV) and other neurologic conditions, including unilateral and bilateral vestibular hypofunction, and post-concussive syndrome.

The therapist designs a treatment plan which includes supervised sessions and an individualized home program. Duration of treatment depends on the diagnosis and clinical symptoms; some patients may only be seen 1-2 visits while others may require 3-4 months.

Conditions That Would Benefit from VRT

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Vestibular Neuritis
  • Bilateral (both sides) or Unilateral (one side) Vestibular Hypofunction
  • Recovery from Vestibular Neuroma resection
  • Ototoxicity: Toxicity from certain medication that damages the inner ears
  • Central vestibular conditions (stroke, brain injury, cerebellar ataxia, concussion)

Common Symptoms That Can Be Helped with VRT:

  • Vertigo (sense of spinning)
  • General dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Imbalance/Difficulty walking
  • Frequent falls
  • Vision issues (double vision, shaky vision with head movements, poor tolerance to screen)