Vestibular Physiotherapy

What is vestibular therapy? 

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specialised form of physical rehabilitation used to treat vestibular disorders including dizziness, vertigo, balance, gait and vision impairments. Using a unique assessment strategy, vestibular therapists can identify the cause of your dizziness and treat it without the use of invasive techniques or medications.

Treatment may include several forms of intervention based on assessment findings including specific manoeuvres of the head, balance, gait retraining, neck rehab, or gaze stability training.

What Kinds of Issues Can VRT Help With?
Patients who are referred for Vestibular Rehabilitation may have been diagnosed with one of the following vestibular conditions:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vestibular Neuritis/Labyrinthitis
  • Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction (UVH)
  • Vestibular Migraine
  • Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)
  • Mal de Debarquement (MdDS)
  • Cervicogenic Dizziness
  • Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS)
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Neurological conditions (i.e. stroke, traumatic brain injury)
  • Vestibular deconditioning from aging or inactivity and many other vestibular conditions….

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is an inappropriate sensation of spinning that occurs when the brain receives a mismatch of incoming signals. While turning your head left, your eyes move right to stay on an object. The connection between the inner ear and eye is one of the fastest reflexes in the human body.

This is called the vestibule-ocular reflex (VOR). Small deficits in this reflex result in large problems, like taking a photograph with a shaky hand. Problems with either the inner ear, eye, or even the input from joints & muscles can result in vertigo or dizziness. The most common form of vertigo is due to a condition called benign paroxysmal vertigo, or BPPV. 


BPPV is a common disorder of the inner ear affecting 64 out of every 100,000 people per year. The brain recognises head position by encoding movements from small crystals that sway in response to fluid flow. In BPPV these crystals are displaced into nearby canals, disrupting the highly complex connection between the eyes & inner ear.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo — the sudden sensation that you’re spinning or that the inside of your head is spinning.

BPPV causes brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. It is usually triggered by specific changes in your head’s position. This might occur when you tip your head up or down, when you lie down, or when you turn over or sit up in bed.

This mismatch in information results in vertigo, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms. Vestibular therapists utilise specialised positioning manoeuvres to guide these crystals back to their proper place.

Struggling with dizziness and vertigo? Come in and see our vestibular physiotherapist, Quinn Turner.