Treatment of Vestibular Disorders (Inner Ear Balance Problems): How Does Your Physical Therapist Treat Dizziness Related to Inner Ear Balance Problems?

Document Type


Publication Date



Dizziness is very common, but it is never normal. Dizziness can make performing daily activities, work, and walking difficult. Inner ear balance problems can make people dizzy when they turn their head, which can cause problems during walking and make people more likely to fall. Most of the time dizziness is not from a life-threatening disease. Often, dizziness is related to a problem of the vestibular (or inner ear balance) system. Vestibular disorders can be caused by infections in the ear, problems with the immune system, medications that harm the inner ear, and rarely from diabetes or stroke because of a lack of blood flow to the inner ear. Stress, poor sleep, migraine headaches, overdoing some activities, and feeling anxious or sad can increase symptoms of dizziness. Updated guidelines for the treatment of inner ear disorders are published in this issue of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. The guideline recommends which exercises are best to treat the dizziness and balance problems commonly seen with an inner ear problem.