Exercise prescription patterns in patients treated with vestibular rehabilitation after concussion

Physiother Res Int. 2013 Jun;18(2):100-8. doi: 10.1002/pri.1532. Epub 2012 Jul 12.


Background and purpose: Individuals with concussion often complain of persistent dizziness and imbalance, and these problems have been treated with vestibular rehabilitation exercises. The purpose of this study is to describe the vestibular rehabilitation exercise prescriptions provided to individuals after concussion.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of vestibular rehabilitation home exercise programmes prescribed by physical therapists for 104 participants who were diagnosed with concussion was conducted. Each of the exercises was classified by exercise type, duration and frequency. Frequency counts of the most common exercise types were recorded. Exercise progression patterns were examined by determining how exercise types were modified from visit to visit.

Results: Eye-head coordination exercises were the most commonly prescribed exercise type (in 95% of participants), followed by standing static balance exercises (in 88% of participants), and ambulation exercises (in 76% of participants).

Conclusions: Understanding the prescription patterns of expert clinicians may elucidate the vestibular-related impairments of individuals after concussion and may provide a resource for therapists who may be starting vestibular rehabilitation programmes for management of individuals with concussion. To improve quality of care, future research should be directed to relate outcomes to the exercise prescription patterns.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / complications
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Disease Management
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Dizziness / physiopathology
  • Dizziness / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult