Vestibular physiotherapy is a specialized branch of physical therapy aimed at diagnosing and treating disorders related to the vestibular system, which controls balance and spatial orientation. Through a combination of exercises, techniques, and interventions, vestibular physiotherapy helps individuals regain their equilibrium and improve overall quality of life.

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system comprises intricate structures within the inner ear that work in tandem with the eyes and proprioception (sensory feedback from muscles and joints) to maintain balance, stabilize vision, and orient oneself in space. When the vestibular system malfunctions, it can lead to symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, and nausea.

Common Conditions Treated with Vestibular Physiotherapy

  1. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): BPPV is characterized by brief episodes of intense vertigo triggered by changes in head position. Vestibular physiotherapy employs specific maneuvers like the Epley maneuver to reposition displaced inner ear crystals, alleviating symptoms.
  2. Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis: Inflammation of the inner ear (labyrinthitis) or the vestibular nerve (vestibular neuritis) can disrupt vestibular function, causing severe vertigo and imbalance. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises are tailored to gradually desensitize the vestibular system and improve compensation mechanisms.
  3. Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s disease is marked by recurrent episodes of vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Vestibular physiotherapy focuses on symptom management, balance training, and lifestyle modifications to minimize the impact of attacks.
  4. Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Head injuries can damage the vestibular system, leading to persistent dizziness, visual disturbances, and postural instability. Vestibular rehabilitation helps individuals regain balance, reduce dizziness, and address associated symptoms post-concussion.

The Role of Vestibular Physiotherapists

Vestibular physiotherapists are highly trained professionals with expertise in assessing and treating vestibular disorders. They conduct comprehensive evaluations to identify the underlying cause of symptoms and develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs. These plans often include a combination of habituation exercises, gaze stabilization exercises, balance training, and education on fall prevention strategies.

Benefits of Vestibular Physiotherapy

  1. Symptom Relief: By targeting the root cause of vestibular dysfunction, physiotherapy can effectively alleviate symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, and imbalance.
  2. Improved Functionality: Through targeted exercises and interventions, individuals can regain confidence in their balance and spatial orientation, allowing them to resume daily activities and participate in social and recreational pursuits.
  3. Prevention of Falls: Vestibular rehabilitation programs incorporate balance training and fall prevention strategies to reduce the risk of falls and related injuries, particularly in older adults.
  4. Enhanced Quality of Life: By restoring vestibular function and reducing symptom severity, physiotherapy can significantly improve overall quality of life for individuals living with vestibular disorders.


Vestibular physiotherapy plays a crucial role in restoring balance, function, and quality of life for individuals affected by vestibular disorders. Through targeted interventions and personalized care, physiotherapists empower patients to overcome symptoms, regain independence, and enjoy a fulfilling life free from the constraints of dizziness and imbalance.