Vestibular Rehabilitation


  • Dizziness and Balance problems affect approximately 50% of adults at some time in their lifespan, which is the equivalent of 500,000 people in Ottawa alone!
  • Dizziness is the number one reason for physician visits by people over the age of 65, and accounts for 5-10% of all physician visits for all age groups in Ottawa
  • 1 in 5 adults over the age of 60 in Ottawa have some form of vertigo or inner ear problem that is associated with a risk of falls, fear of falling and loss of independence.

What is a Vestibular Disorder?

Many people complain of dizziness, vertigo, unsteadiness,


and balance problems. There are a number of causes that can contribute to these symptoms, but a large percentage are caused by a problem with part of the inner ear and the brain that helps control balance and eye movements (see diagram). This is known as the vestibular system. If disease or injury damages this system, a vestibular disorder can result.

Symptoms of a Vestibular Disorder

Symptoms of a vestibular disorder can include:

  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • A spinning sensation
  • Difficulty reading or concentrating
  • Poor balance
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to bright lights and noises
  • Poor tolerance of crowds
  • Motion Sensitivity

What causes Vestibular Disorders?

Vestibular disorders are common and can affect people of all ages and all walks of life. They are most often caused by:

  • Head trauma (car accidents, falls, impact sports)
  • Ear infections (Neuritis, Labyrinthitis)
  • Aging
  • Illness or disease
  • Certain Medications
  • Stroke and/or brain injury

Physiotherapy and Vestibular Rehabilitation

Are there Treatment Options?

Fortunately, a vestibular rehabilitation program provided by your Physiotherapist can help. Treatment for vestibular disorders will vary according to the diagnosis.

Vestibular rehabilitation is a drug-free approach involving specific exercises to improve balance function, decrease dizziness/vertigo symptoms, and increase general activity levels.

What can you expect?

At Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic you will be seen by a Physiotherapist specifically trained in vestibular rehabilitation.

Your Physiotherapist will assess functioning in three major areas:

  • Eye and head movement
  • Balance and walking
  • The musculoskeletal system

Following your assessment, your program may include one or more of the following:

  • Balance retraining exercises
  • Specific vestibular exercises
  • Supervised therapy sessions to monitor progress and continually challenge the vestibular, visual, and balance systems
  • Repositioning (Epley’s) maneuver for BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), a condition where crystals are caught in the inner ear canals
  • A home program of individualized vestibular exercises

You can expect to see improvement in your symptoms within 6 to 8 weeks, or sooner, depending on your specific condition.

Your Physiotherapist will always be in contact with your referring physician and/or specialist to update them on your progress.

Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic has been serving Kanata, Stittsville, West Ottawa, Nepean and surrounding areas for over 15 years.

To book an appointment with a Physiotherapist specialized in the assessment and treatment of vertigo, dizziness, balance problems, BPPV or any other inner ear condition, please contact us and request an appointment for Vestibular Rehabilitation.