Vestibular Physical Therapy

What is vestibular disorder?

Any injury or disease affecting the vestibular apparatus situated in the inner ear, its nerve supply or part of the brain that it is connected to can lead to vestibular disorders. Some of the symptoms experienced can be dizziness & vertigo, disturbance in walking due to sense of being off-balance, loss of visual acuity and nausea. Our body maintains balance through the interactions of the signals from our ankle/feet, eyes and the inner ear-the vestibular system with the brain. When all these systems work in sync, we have good balance. However, when our vestibular system fails to function properly, we experience spinning sensation of our environment or become unsteady while walking, especially in the dark or in crowded places. It is estimated that a little over 40% of adults suffer from dizziness at some point in their lives, with a vast majority of these cases being attributed to vestibular dysfunction.

Vestibular disorders we treat

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Vestibular Neuritis, Labyrinthitis, Meniere’s Disease, Vestibular Migraine, Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction

BPPV: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is one of the commonest vestibular disorder that we treat at our physical therapy clinic. A person experiences dizziness or vertigo which is a spinning sensation, especially while changing body positions. This sometimes can resolve on its own or can be treated by canalith repositioning maneuvers.

Post-concussion, motion sickness and post-inner ear infections: Sometimes trauma to head and neck region or infection of the inner ear can lead to dizziness, blurry vision and loss of balance. In these instances, it is always best to seek medical advice to fix the primary problem. Once cleared, vestibular rehabilitation can help you retrain your balance and gaze.

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Key Components of Vestibular Physical Therapy

  • Comprehensive Assessment: Evaluates the individual’s vestibular function, balance, gait, and functional limitations to develop a tailored treatment plan.
  • Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers: Utilizes specific head and body movements to reposition displaced crystals within the inner ear, relieving symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
  • Habituation Exercises: Involves repetitive exposure to movements or positions that provoke symptoms to desensitize the vestibular system and reduce dizziness and vertigo.
  • Gaze Stabilization Exercises: Improves the ability to maintain clear vision during head movements by enhancing the coordination of eye movements.
  • Balance Training: Utilizes various exercises and techniques to improve postural control, weight shifting, and proprioception.

Balance Rehabilitation & Vertigo Treatment


Vestibular physical therapy focuses on treating disorders of the inner ear and vestibular system, which control balance and spatial orientation. It aims to alleviate symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance, allowing individuals to regain stability and independence. Vestibular rehabilitation is a treatment approach used to reduce or eliminate dizziness and unsteadiness through movement.

  • Canalith repositioning techniques: In this case, a person experiences spinning sensation due to dislodgement of calcium crystals in the inner ear. Your physical therapist will put you through a few positions to allow the crystals to regain its original position. You will then be given a few instructions to follow for a couple of days after which you should start to feel better. A few sessions may be required to fully resolve this issue.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation exercises: In this case, it is the reduced functioning of your vestibular system that is causing your unsteadiness. Your physical therapist will teach you few exercises in order for the brain to re-adjust or re-learn to cope with the problem. Eventually, the body will adapt itself and not overly react to the dizziness-provoking stimuli.
    With the ever-increasing cost on the healthcare system from falls and its aftermath, it may be a better choice to consider physical therapy to resolve your balance issues and reduce the burden of care.

Benefits of Vestibular Physical Therapy

  • Symptom Management: Reduces dizziness, vertigo, and nausea associated with vestibular disorders.
  • Improved Balance and Coordination: Enhances postural control and stability to prevent falls and improve mobility.
  • Functional Restoration: Helps individuals regain the ability to perform daily activities with confidence and ease.
  • Adaptation and Compensation: Facilitates the brain’s ability to adapt to vestibular dysfunction and compensate for balance deficits.
  • Quality of Life Enhancement: Enables individuals to participate in social, work, and leisure activities without interference from vestibular symptoms.

Vestibular physical therapy plays a crucial role in treating vestibular disorders and restoring balance, stability, and quality of life for individuals experiencing symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo. Through specialized rehabilitation techniques and tailored exercise programs, individuals can overcome vestibular challenges and regain confidence in their ability to navigate the world safely.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance, consider seeking evaluation and treatment from our physical therapist. At Victor Physical Therapy, our expertise and guidance, will help you embark on a journey toward regaining balance and improving your overall well-being.

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8523 Madison Ave. Ste D, Indianapolis, IN 46227. USA

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