Journal of Neurology

, Volume 260, Issue 12, pp 3039–3048 | Cite as

Vestibular rehabilitation outcomes in patients with and without vestibular migraine

  • Jessica VitkovicEmail author
  • Arimbi Winoto
  • Gary Rance
  • Richard Dowell
  • Mark Paine
Original Communication


Vestibular rehabilitation programs do appear to play a beneficial role in the treatment of dizziness in patients with vestibular migraine. Anecdotally, however, patients with vestibular migraine may report persistent significant symptoms at the end of a standard treatment period where other non-migrainous patients are accomplishing their treatment goals. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of vestibular rehabilitation in patients with vestibular migraine compared to patients with vestibular symptoms without migraine. Thirty-six patients (vestibular migraine = 20, vestibular impairment = 16) with significant daily vestibular symptoms received a nine week customized vestibular rehabilitation program. Each subject attended five therapy appointments occurring at initial, two, five, nine and six months. A range of subjective and physical performance outcome measures were taken at baseline, nine weeks and six months. The vestibular migraine group showed poorer subjective performance at the onset of therapy, which was not reflected in the difference in physical performance between the groups. Both groups benefitted equally from rehabilitation. The same degree of improvement was observed in the migraine group regardless of medication regime. This study has validated vestibular rehabilitation as an effective treatment in dizzy patients both with and without vestibular migraine where the use of medication did not preclude benefit from therapy. However, further research is required to clarify the role of specific vestibular suppressant medications and the scheduling of their use in relation to physical therapy.


Vestibular migraine Vestibular rehabilitation Neuro-otology Sensory sensitivity 



This study was supported by the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (06/704H). The authors would like to thank the staff at the Vestibular Investigation Unit for their contribution to the collection of patient data, and the manuscript reviewers for their comments.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Supplementary material

415_2013_7116_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 52 kb)
415_2013_7116_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (62 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 62 kb)
415_2013_7116_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (71 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 71 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Vitkovic
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arimbi Winoto
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gary Rance
    • 1
  • Richard Dowell
    • 1
  • Mark Paine
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Audiology and Speech PathologyThe University of MelbourneCarltonAustralia
  2. 2.Department of AudiologyThe Royal Victorian Eye and Ear HospitalEast MelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Dizzy Day ClinicsMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Austin Health HeidelbergHeidelbergAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Neuro-OpthalmologyThe Royal Victorian Eye and Ear HospitalEast MelbourneAustralia

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