Vestibular Rehabilitation

Effective Therapy Options

The Vestibular Rehabilitation Program at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is an exercise-based treatment for the symptoms of dizziness, vertigo or disequilibrium arising from disorders of the central or peripheral vestibular system.

The peripheral vestibular system is a portion of the inner ear involved in the maintenance of balance and gait stability. The central vestibular system is located in the cerebellum, or main balance center of the brain. Symptoms that may be associated with a vestibular disorder include vertigo (the experience of movement in the surroundings that is not actually occurring), lightheadedness, imbalance, disequilibrium, spinning and motion sickness. These symptoms may or may not be accompanied by other manifestations of inner ear disorders such as hearing loss or tinnitus.

For patients who are diagnosed with a vestibular problem, physical therapy directed at resolving the source of the difficulty or encouraging compensation from other aspects of the balance system has proven very effective.

Problems that can be addressed with physical therapy include:

  • Unilateral inner ear dysfunction
  • Bilateral inner ear dysfunction
  • Episodes of benign positional vertigo
  • Multi-factorial gait and balance disorders
  • Chronic imbalance arising from multiple types of inner ear disorders including Ménière’s disease and disequilibrium imbalance arising from central vestibular structures

For more information on treatment for symptoms of dizziness, vertigo or disequilibrium, please visit the Balance Center.