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Feeling Dizzy and Off-Balance? Find Out If It's Vertigo with a Physio Assessment

Vertigo, a disorienting sensation of spinning or movement, can significantly impact one's quality of life. It can lead to nausea, imbalance, and even falls, making daily activities challenging. While there are various treatments available for vertigo, physiotherapy has emerged as a highly effective approach.

How Physiotherapy Can Help Alleviate Vertigo

This post explores how physiotherapy can help alleviate vertigo and improve overall balance and mobility.

Understanding Vertigo and Its Causes - Vestibular Assessment

Before diving into the benefits of physiotherapy, it’s essential to understand what causes vertigo. Vertigo is commonly associated with problems in the inner ear, where the body’s balance system resides. Some of the primary causes include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): Characterised by tiny calcium particles clumping in the inner ear canals.

  • Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis: Inflammation of the inner ear or the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain.

  • Meniere’s Disease: A disorder caused by fluid buildup in the inner ear, leading to vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.

  • Migraines: Some people experience vertigo as a symptom of migraines.

The Role of Physiotherapy in Treating Vertigo

Physiotherapy, specifically vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT), is designed to address issues related to the vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining balance. Here’s how physiotherapy can benefit individuals suffering from vertigo:

Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers

For those with BPPV, physiotherapists can perform specific maneuvers such as the Epley maneuver or the Semont maneuver. These maneuvers help move the dislodged calcium crystals out of the ear canals and into an area where they won’t cause symptoms. This can provide immediate relief from vertigo.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Exercises VRT involves a series of exercises tailored to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related symptoms. These exercises may include:

  • Gaze Stabilisation Exercises: Help improve control of eye movements so that vision can remain clear while the head is moving.

  • Balance Training: Activities that improve steadiness and prevent falls, such as standing on one leg or walking heel-to-toe.

  • Habituation Exercises: Designed to reduce the dizziness that occurs because of specific movements or environments.

Strengthening and Coordination Exercises Physiotherapists also incorporate exercises that enhance overall muscle strength and coordination. This is particularly important for preventing falls and improving confidence in movement.


Physiotherapists educate patients on vertigo triggers and strategies to manage symptoms. They may provide advice on home modifications to reduce fall risks and recommend lifestyle changes to manage stress, hydration and diet, which can all influence vertigo.


One of the significant advantages of physiotherapy is the personalised approach. A physiotherapist assesses each patient’s specific condition and develops a customised treatment plan. This tailored approach ensures that the exercises and maneuvers address the individual's unique needs.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Vertigo

The benefits of physiotherapy for vertigo extend beyond just symptom relief. Here are some of the key advantages:

Improved Balance and Mobility: VRT can significantly enhance a person’s balance and overall mobility, reducing the risk of falls and improving the ability to perform daily activities.

Reduced Dependence on Medication: Physiotherapy can decrease the need for medications, which often come with side effects.

Enhanced Quality of Life: By managing and reducing vertigo symptoms, patients can enjoy a better quality of life with more confidence in their movements.

Long-Term Relief: Unlike some treatments that only provide temporary relief, physiotherapy aims to address the root cause of vertigo, offering more sustainable results.

Vertigo can be a debilitating condition, but with the right approach, its impact can be minimised. Physiotherapy, through vestibular rehabilitation therapy and other targeted exercises, offers a comprehensive and effective treatment option. By working with a skilled physiotherapist, individuals suffering from vertigo can regain their balance, reduce their symptoms, and improve their overall quality of life. If you or someone you know is struggling with vertigo, consider exploring physiotherapy as a viable path to relief and recovery.



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