Vestibular rehabilitation after mild traumatic brain injury with vestibular pathology

NeuroRehabilitation. 2011;29(2):167-71. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2011-0691.


Vestibular complaints are the most frequent sequelae of mTBI. Vestibular physical therapy has been established as the most important treatment modality for this group of patients. Nevertheless there is little work objectively documenting the impact of vestibular physical therapy on this group of patients. Studies have been completed in the past examining clinical measures like the GCS on overall recovery pattern after TBI. But outcomes measures specifically aimed at examining the adequacy of vestibular tests to track vestibular recoveryhave remained lacking. Scherer and Schubert reinforced the need for best practice vestibular assessment for formulation of appropriate vestibular physical therapy treatment strategies. Now the application of vestibular testing and rehabilitation in this patient population is needed to provide information on objective outcome measures. Vestibular physical therapy is most effective when applied in a customized fashion. While we and others have developed vestibular physical therapy procedures that are applied in best practices for mTBI vestibular patients, these therapies must be customized for the patient entry level of function and expectation level of recovery. Knowledge of the patient's disability and diagnosis is critical to build the foundation for return to activity, work, or sport.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Vestibular Diseases / etiology*
  • Vestibular Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiology*