Clinical Specialties : Vestibular

Vestibular Rehabilitation Program

The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Miami Hospital is pleased to have developed a specialized rehabilitation program to assist patients with vestibular disorders. This program is committed to providing services targeting the treatment of symptoms like vertigo, dizziness, and balance deficienceies originating from a vestibular dysfunction.

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system, along withe central nervous system and visual system, allows us to perceive movement, stabilize images, and maintain balance. Thus, when the vestibular system is not working properly, it can lead to symptoms that affect our movement, vision, and stability.

Vestibular symptoms can cause uncomfortable sensatons and affect or even limit our daily activities. The most common reported symptons are dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and disequilibrium. People with vestibular disorders also present sensitivity to light, noise, and movement. There is also a high incidence of falls or increased fall risk.

Possible Causes for Vestibular Disorders Include: Ear Infections (Labyrinthitis), Virus (i.e. Bells Palsy), anitbiotic use, Head Trauma (TBI) , and CNS Disorders (i.e. MS, CVA).

Common Vestibular Disorders Include: Benign Paraxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Unilateral Vestibular Lesion, Bilateral Vestibular Lesion, Labyrinthitis or Neuroniti, Mal- de- Debarquement, Migraine Related Dizziness, and Cervicogenic Dizziness.

Program Objectives

  • Identify and improve symptoms of dizziness and/or vertigo caused by a vestibular disorder.
  • Different between vestibular disorders and deficincies in balance and/or proprioception.
  • Prevent or reduce the frequency of risk of falls for patients with vestibular disorders.
  • Improved functional activites through an exercise-based program and targeted treatment of the symptoms of vestibular dysfunction.
  • Improve overall quality of life and promote improved independence.