Vestibular rehabilitation is defined as the treatment of dizziness related problems that arise from the inner ear, using exercises meant to improve balance and reduce dizziness related problems. The associated problems of vestibular problems can include dizziness, imbalance, nausea, lightheadedness, disequilibrium, visual disturbance, and vertigo. The exercises for vestibular rehabilitation will promote health, wellness, optimal function, and quality of life for individuals with balance and vestibular disorders through habituation, gaze stabilization, and balance training.
Vertigo and dizziness are one of the most common problems in adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 40% of people in the United States experience feeling dizzy at least once during their lifetime. The Archives of Internal Medicine reported that from 2001 to 2004, 35.4% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) had a vestibular dysfunction, and dizziness interferes with the everyday activities of 30% of persons over age 70 so severe that it constitutes consulting a physician or therapist.
Symptoms due to vestibular disorders can diminish the quality of life and impact all aspects of daily living. They also contribute to emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. Additionally, one of the consequences of having a vestibular disorder is that symptoms frequently cause people to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle in order to avoid bringing on, or worsening, dizziness and imbalance. As a result, decreased muscle strength and flexibility, increased joint stiffness, and reduced stamina can occur. Vestibular rehabilitation can address not only the primary cause of dizziness but also the secondary effects of symptoms to improve quality of life and functional mobility.