Vestibular physiotherapy is designed to treat vestibular disorders. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements.

Individuals with vestibular disorders often experience symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo (a sensation of spinning or whirling), imbalance, light-headedness, and visual disturbances. These symptoms can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and daily activities.

The goals of vestibular physiotherapy are to:

  • Reduce or eliminate symptoms of dizziness and vertigo.
  • Improve balance and stability.
  • Enhance gaze stability (ability to focus on objects during head movements).
  • Increase general activity levels and functional ability.
  • Vestibular physiotherapy is typically tailored to the individual’s specific symptoms and needs.

 

Treatment may include a combination of exercises and techniques aimed at:

  • Habituation: Helping the brain adapt to and reduce sensitivity to movements and positions that provoke symptoms.
  • Gaze stabilization exercises: Improving the ability to maintain focus on objects during head movements, which can help reduce dizziness and visual disturbances.
  • Balance training: Strengthening muscles and improving coordination to enhance stability and reduce the risk of falls.
  • Canalith repositioning maneuvers: Specific techniques used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a common vestibular disorder caused by loose calcium deposits in the inner ear.

A comprehensive vestibular assessment by a trained physiotherapist or healthcare professional is essential to determine the underlying cause of the vestibular disorder and develop an individualized treatment plan. Vestibular physiotherapy can be highly effective in improving symptoms and restoring function for many people with vestibular disorders.