Vestibular Rehabilitation @ Clifton Hill Physiotherapy

Vestibular rehabilitation is an approach used by physiotherapists trained in treating symptoms  of poor balance and dizziness.  It is an exercise based approach initially developed in the United Kingdom, and is considered to be the most successful management approach for people with  disorders associated with the vestibular system.

There are many disorders that can interfere with the vestibular system, such as:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vesti bular neuronitis (a viral infection affecting the inner ear)
  • Menieres Disease (involves fluid in the inner ear)
  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Ototoxicity (a reaction to certain medications)

For vestibular rehabilitation to be effective it is necessary to perform an accurate assessment specific to the individual and their presenting history and symptoms.  Symptoms commonly associated with disorders of the vestibular system can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo (illusion of self-motion)
  • Visual blurring
  • Poor balance and mobility( eg veering to one side, increased falls risk, reduced gait speed)
  • Poor concentration
  • Functional restrictions and alterations in lifestyle

Vestibular rehabilitation usually consists of several components:

  1. Habituation training
  2. Gaze stability training
  3. Balance and gait training
  4. Fitness training
  5. Cervical and shoulder range of movement exercises
  6. Education

Customised, individual vestibular rehabilitation programs have been shown to:

  • Reduce dizziness
  • Improve balance
  • Improve functional ability in people with acute and chronic vestibular dysfunction

At Clifton Hill Physiotherapy, we have four physiotherapists who have undertaken specific  training in vestibular rehabilitation.  When enquiring about physiotherapy management, please ensure that you mention your specific symptoms so that we can ensure that you are seen by a therapist trained in vestibular rehabilitation.

References:  Hillier SL, McDonnell, M. Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No. CD005397