Recent Evidence About the Effectiveness of Vestibular Rehabilitation

  • Susan L. WhitneyEmail author
  • Ahmad H. Alghadir
  • Shahnawaz Anwer
Neurologic Ophthalmology and Otology (RK Shin and DR Gold, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neurologic Ophthalmology and Otology

Opinion statement

Vestibular rehabilitation of persons with peripheral and central vestibular disorders requires a thorough evaluation and a customized plan of care. Collaboration of the various members of the treatment team optimizes outcomes. Early intervention appears to be better than referring patients who have developed chronic symptoms of balance loss, dizziness, anxiety, and depression. There is a body of emerging evidence that supports that the central nervous system has the capability to reweigh sensory inputs in order to improve function. There continues to be a dearth of knowledge related to how to treat persons with otolithic dysfunction as compared to those with semicircular canal damage. With the use of vestibular rehabilitation, patients are less likely to fall, are less dizzy, balance and gait improve, and quality of life is enhanced. Recent Cochrane reviews and a clinical practice guideline support the use of vestibular rehabilitation for persons with vestibular dysfunction. Typical symptoms and their management including dysregulated gait, falling, fear of falling, increased sway in standing, visual blurring, symptoms with complex visual scenes in the periphery, and weakness are all discussed with ideas for intervention. Any patient with a vestibular disorder may benefit from a trial of vestibular rehabilitation. A discussion of recent evidence and innovations related to vestibular rehabilitation is also included.


Vestibular rehabilitation Dizziness Bilateral hypofunction Peripheral hypofunction Unilateral vestibular loss Balance 



The project was financially supported by King Saud University, through the Vice Deanship of Research Chairs, Rehabilitation Research Chair.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Susan L. Whitney, Ahmad H. Alghadir, and Shahnawaz Anwer declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan L. Whitney
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ahmad H. Alghadir
    • 3
  • Shahnawaz Anwer
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Physical Therapy and Otolaryngology, School of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Rehabilitation Research ChairKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Rehabilitation Research Chair, College of Applied Medical SciencesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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