What is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)?
VRT is a type of therapy completed by physiotherapists who have taken extra training to specialize in treating individuals with vestibular diseases or disorders.
It is an exercise-based program targeted to decrease symptoms of imbalance and dizziness with vestibular pathologies. VRT is designed to promote vestibular adaptation and substitution. It includes specific exercises that can eliminate or significantly decrease symptoms by promoting central nervous system compensation for inner-ear dysfunctions.
Goals of VRT:
- Reduce dizziness and visual symptoms
- Increase balance and walking abilities
- Increase activity levels
- Improving activities of daily living
May include the following exercises:
- Coordination of eye and head movements
- Vestibular habituation exercises
- Balance and coordination retraining exercises
- Stimulation of dizziness symptoms to desensitize vestibular system
- Specific positioning maneuvers to decrease vertigo symptoms
- Fitness and endurance exercises
- Breathwork and relaxation exercises
What conditions does VRT help?
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
- Unilateral or Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction (decreased inner function)
- Meniere’s Disease
- Vestibular Neruirits
- Vestibular Migraine
- Mal de Debarquement
- Age-related dizziness and imbalance
- Head Injury (Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)
- Shumway-Cook, Anne. “An Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment – Vestibular.org.” Vestibular.Org , Vestibular Disorders Association , 2015, https://vestibular.org/sites/default/files/page_files/Vestibular%20Rehabilitation_10.pdf.
- Alghadir, Ahmad H., and Shahnawaz Anwer. “Effects of Vestibular Rehabilitation in the Management of a Vestibular Migraine: A Review.” Frontiers in Neurology, vol. 9, 2018, https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00440.
- Han, Byung In, et al. “Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: Review of Indications, Mechanisms, and Key Exercises.” Journal of Clinical Neurology, vol. 7, no. 4, 29 Dec. 2011, p. 184., https://doi.org/10.3988/jcn.2011.7.4.184.