Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) is a specialized form of therapy intended to alleviate both the primary and secondary problems due to vestibular disorders. It is an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, reduce gaze instability, and/or reduce imbalance and fall risk as well as address any secondary impairments that are a consequence of the vestibular disorder.

For most people who have a vestibular disorder, the deficit is permanent because the amount of restoration of vestibular function is very small. However, after vestibular system damage, symptoms can reduce and function can improve because of compensation. This occurs because the brain learns to use other senses (vision and somatosensory – body sense) to substitute for the deficient vestibular system. For many, compensation occurs naturally over time, but for patients whose symptoms do not reduce and who continue to have difficulty returning to daily activities, VR can assist in recovery by promoting compensation.