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Vestibular Therapy

Feeling dizzy, unsteady or disoriented is not just unpleasant — it can put you at risk for falls and serious injuries. Our vestibular rehabilitation program aims to help children and adults reduce dizziness resulting from a variety of inner ear disorders and neurologic conditions, including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), post-concussion syndrome and vestibular migraines.

Vestibular Rehabilitation: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

  • Our team of physical therapists includes several certified neurologic specialists, as well as therapists experienced in vestibular exercises and BPPV repositioning maneuvers.
  • We can help you address dizziness and related issues, such as nausea, lightheadedness, imbalance, oscillopsia (visual blurring) and motion sensitivity.
  • We have access to the latest diagnostic and exercise technology for vestibular rehabilitation, including infrared goggles that record eye movement to evaluate balance centers.
  • Our therapy programs are based on a comprehensive musculoskeletal, balance, gait and vertigo assessment that helps develop a customized plan that addresses your unique challenges, lifestyle, health and exercise tolerance.
 

Request An Appointment

The Johns Hopkins Hospital and all other Maryland clinics
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.

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Dizziness and Balance Issues We Treat

You should be evaluated by your physician before starting therapy to rule out other causes of dizziness or balance impairment. You can get a referral for therapy form a primary physician, geriatrician, otolaryngologist or neurologist. Our therapists treat dizziness and balance issues related to:

Inner Ear Problems

  • Vestibular hypofunction (balance disorder of the inner ear)
  • Labyrinthitis (inflammation of the inner ear)
  • Vestibular neuritis (inflammation of the auditory nerve’s vestibular portion)
  • Bilateral vestibulopathy (damage of both inner ears)
  • Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma)
  • BPPV (It occurs when tiny calcium crystals come loose from their normal location in the inner ear.)
  • Meniere’s disease

Trauma and Neurological Issues

  • Concussion and post-concussion syndrome 
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vestibular migraine
  • Functional movement disorder
  • Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness (PPPD)
  • Stroke
  • Cerebellar disorders (ataxia)
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
  • Multiple sclerosis

Find a Vestibular Therapist

Schedule an appointment with one of our vestibular therapists to find a treatment that can help relieve your vestibular symptoms.

 

How Vestibular Therapy Can Help with Dizziness and Imbalance

The goals of vestibular therapy may differ depending on the underlying conditions causing your dizziness. Vestibular rehabilitation may help you:

  • Reduce dizziness and related symptoms
  • Regain function
  • Reposition inner ear debris (calcium crystals) in cases of BPPV
  • Develop compensatory mechanisms in the brain through other senses such as vision

Balance is a skill that coordinates multiple systems in the body, and exercise helps these systems work together in a coordinated fashion. Vestibular rehabilitation uses exercise to address dizziness and balance impairments. Treatments may include patient and caregiver education as well as in-clinic and home exercises, such as:

  • Repositioning maneuvers for BPPV
  • Habituation exercises that place you in positions that trigger dizziness, thus allowing your body to adjust and decrease the dizziness you experience
  • Gaze stability training
  • Balance retraining
  • Exercise programs that address issues with weakness, decreased range of motion, etc.
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