Vestibular rehabilitation

Curr Opin Neurol. 2013 Feb;26(1):96-101. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e32835c5ec4.


Purpose of review: This review examines the research from 2011 through 2012 on treatment efficacy in two common vestibular disorders - vestibular hypofunction and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Recent findings: Significant numbers of randomized controlled trials now support the use of specific exercises for the treatment of patients with unilateral peripheral vestibular hypofunction. We do not know if some treatment approaches are more effective than others. There is preliminary evidence that head movement may be the component critical to recovered function and decreased symptoms. Some patient characteristics and initial assessment results appear to predict treatment outcome but the evidence is incomplete. Treatment of posterior canal BPPV canalithiasis is well established. New evidence supports certain treatments for horizontal canal BPPV.

Summary: Treatments for unilateral vestibular hypofunction and for posterior canal BPPV are effective; however, there are many as yet unanswered questions such as why some patients with vestibular hypofunction do not improve with a course of vestibular exercises. We also do not know what would be the best treatment for anterior canal BPPV or for multiple-canal involvement BPPV.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Head Movements / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Vertigo / rehabilitation*
  • Vestibular Diseases / rehabilitation*