Vestibular rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program that is effective in reducing dizziness and vertigo. This specialist rehabilitation helps to improve balance, reduce associated falls and improve your quality of life if you suffer with a disorder involving your balance.

Having good balance is essential for daily living, from getting up from a chair to crossing the road. Healthy balance uses information from your brain, inner ears and eyes. It also involves your joints and muscles and enable us to see clearly when we move our heads.

Who is affected?

Balance disorders and dizziness can affect all age groups but they significantly increase with older age. With an ageing population, balance disorders are one of the most common reason for people to visit their GPs. If left untreated, symptoms like unsteadiness get worse and this can led to a loss of confidence and anxiety, loss of independence and an increased risk of falls.

What is dizziness?

Dizziness can be described as feeling unsteady, lightheaded or feeling that you might pass out. It can also be described as sensations of moving, spinning, floating, or swaying.

All of these feelings or sensations can happen when you are standing still, changing positions or even when you’re lying down. These symptoms can be constant or you might experience shorter episodes. These may only lasting seconds, minutes or hours.

What causes dizziness?

Although dizziness and balance disorders are generally not serious, they can be distressing. The most common form is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) which is a disorder of the inner ear. It results in episodes of extreme dizziness when moving your head in certain positions.

Dizziness can be due to the side effect of medications or alcohol, neck stiffness, heart problems and anxiety. It can occur following a stroke or concussion.

How can physiotherapy help you?

Vesibular rehabilitation can help you if you’ve been diagnosed with dizziness or a specific condition such as:

A specialised physiotherapist uses vestibular rehabilitation, an exercise programme to help encourage your central nervous system to compensate for problems most likely caused in your inner ear.

If you experience dizziness or any of the below symptoms, one of our vestibular physiotherapists at PhysioNet Bristol can help:

  • Blurred vision when moving your head
  • Unsteadiness or the need to hold onto objects when walking
  • Neck tightness or pain
  • Headaches
  • Frequent falls
  • Generalised feelings of dizziness or a foggy head
  • Spinning associated with vertigo


See all clinics that provide Vestibular rehabilitation