What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is an exercise-based program for reducing the symptoms of disequilibrium and dizziness associated with vestibular pathology (disease or disorder). A common neuro-otological approach for managing such symptoms is to prescribe medication that suppresses vestibular function. However, in the long term, such suppressants can interfere with a person’s ability to make necessary adaptations. In addition, many of these medications cause drowsiness that may limit a person’s ability to be active.

VRT is an alternative treatment involving specific exercises that can eliminate or significantly reduce symptoms by promoting central nervous system compensation for inner-ear deficits. The program is designed to achieve these goals:

1. Decrease dizziness and visual symptoms.

2. Increase balance and walking functions.

3. Increase general activity levels.

The program may include exercises for:

  • Coordinating eye and head movements
  • Stimulating the symptoms of dizziness

in order to desensitize the vestibular system

  • Improving balance and walking ability
  • Improving fitness and endurance

Exercises vary depending on the type of inner-ear disorder and the associated symptoms. (Vestibular.org, 2016)