Can Physical Therapy Help Vertigo? | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Can Physical Therapy Help Vertigo?


Vertigo is a feeling of unsteadiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness, most often caused by a problem in the vestibular system of the inner ear. Many people experience it as a destabilizing sensation that their environment is spinning. It is most common in adults over the age of 20, but vertigo poses a more serious danger for older adults, who are at a greater risk for fractures and other injuries that can occur with a fall.

So, how can physical therapy help vertigo symptoms? Physical therapists are movement experts with specialized training in exercise physiology, kinesiology, and biomechanics. Physical therapy for vertigo may involve manual therapy and a personalized exercise program that will help you manage your symptoms and regain your balance.

What Does Vertigo Feel Like?

When you have vertigo, you feel like you—or your environment—is spinning, even when you are perfectly still. Other associated symptoms may also also occur, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Ringing in one or both ears
  • Imbalance that causes difficulty walking

Most of the time, the root causes of vertigo involve a problem in the vestibular system—the part of the inner ear that regulates balance. A variety of conditions may cause the inner ear dysregulation that leads to vertigo. If you’re dealing with vertigo, it may be because you:

  • Have an inner ear disorder or infection
  • Suffer from migraines
  • Have a tumor such as acoustic neuroma
  • Have had surgery that removed part of the inner ear
  • Experienced a head injury
  • Have a hole in your inner ear
  • Have had a stroke
  • Take certain medications

Learn More: Physical Therapy for Vertigo

Even though it’s one of the most common complaints at emergency rooms, few sufferers are aware that physical therapy can help vertigo. If you do decide to try physical therapy for your vertigo symptoms, what can you expect when you arrive at the clinic? 

At your first visit, your therapist will review your symptoms and medical history, and then assess your gait, balance, posture, and musculoskeletal systems. Using these findings, they will develop an individualized program of physical therapy for treating your vertigo symptoms. 

Your program will typically include in-clinic treatment as well as a home exercise program designed to help you achieve your personal goals.

Start Treating Vertigo With Physical Therapy Today

Find out how physical therapy for vertigo can help you to regain your balance and get moving again with confidence. If you are experiencing vertigo, lightheadedness, or other inner ear issues, don’t wait to request an appointment. IMPACT Physical Therapy serves the southwest suburbs, downtown Chicago, and Champaign Urbana, so you’re sure to find a location near you!