Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Dysfunction or Vestibular System Disorders are more common than most people think.

Quick facts:

1)      Recent study has indicated that as many as 35% of Americans over 40 years old (70 million people) have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction (Agrawal et al, 2009).

2)      80% of people over 65 years have experienced dizziness and BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) is the cause of approximately 50% of dizziness in older persons (Parnes et al, 2003).

Vestibular Dysfunction or Vestibular System Disorders may involve a number of symptoms including:

a)      Dizziness

b)      Vertigo (sensation of spinning)

c)       Nausea

d)      Sense of imbalance or unsteadiness

e)      Poor gaze stability

f)       Vision disturbance

What is the vestibular system?

  • Comprises five sensory organs that provide your brain with information about head position and movements including head rotation, linear movements and static positions of the head relative to gravity
  • Five sensory organs including 3 semicircular canals and 2 otoliths

Vestibular rehabilitation involves:

  • A detailed assessment of the Oculomotor System, Vestibulo-ocular System, Motion Sensitivity Testing, and a BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) assessment

Your Vestibular Physiotherapist will then determine:

  • The cause of your symptoms
  • Appropriate treatment including in-clinic physiotherapy and home exercise program as indicated
  • Whether referral to another health professional is indicated

Please ask your Physiotherapist for more information regarding Vestibular Rehabilitation.

Visit the following links for more information:

Vestibular Disorders Association:

Vestibular Rehabilitation for Unilateral Peripheral Vestibular Dysfunction – Cochrane Review:

Hillier, S.L., & McDonnell, M. (2007). Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4.  DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD005397.pub2.


Agrawal, Y., Carey, J.P., Della, Santina, C.C., Schubert, M.C., & Minor, L.B. (2009).  Disorders of balance and vestibular function in US adults. Arch Intern Med, 169(10), 938-944.

Parnes, L.S., Agrawal, S.K., Atlas, J. (2003). Diagnosis and management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). CMAJ, 169, 681–693.