Home-Based Exercise is Vital to Your Vestibular Treatment

Posted by Kerrie Denner

Many sufferers of dizziness are surprised to find that not doing the movements that make you dizzy will actually delay your recovery in the case of vestibular problems. An exercise program that repeats the movements that provoke dizziness can train your brain to compensate and help you to overcome it.

At LifeMark Vestibular Rehabilitation, we educate our clients in specific techniques that gently reproduce the symptoms so that the brain can see the error signals enough to allow it to compensate for dizziness problems. The underlying problem may still be there, but the brain can do an excellent job processing signals in a different way so that you no longer feel the symptoms in many cases.

After an initial assessment, we provide individualized treatment plans with exercises to help your specific situation. Some ways that home-based exercises can maximize central nervous system compensation are:

  • By reducing motion sensitivity (habituation)
  • By improving static / dynamic balance
  • By improving gaze stability (adaptation)

Just as figure skaters or ballet dancers learn to suppress and adapt to signals from the balance organs when they spin that would make the rest of us dizzy, we teach clients how to help the brain process this information so that the sensation of dizziness is lessened or removed altogether. When you are practicing the brief but specific exercises at home, we would typically see you once per week over a 4-6 week period, after which treatment is either complete or may be weaned down.

Exercise Helps the Brain Compensate For Vestibular Problems

Low-impact aerobics, Tai chi or a walking program can also improve general fitness levels, strengthen balance, and expose you to movements that help your brain compensate for vestibular problems. The Vestibular Disorders Association does not recommend doing vestibular exercises at home without a diagnosis and personal treatment plan from a vestibular specialist. We are here to help!

Source: LifeMark Vestibular Rehabilitation


Accessed 4/21/2014

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