Physical Therapy for Vertigo and Balance

What is Vertigo? 

Vertigo is a feeling of movement when you are not moving, however, vertigo is actually a symptom, not a diagnosis. On the other hand, balance is the ability to maintain posture. Vertigo will cause a decline in balance, but you can also have balance problems without vertigo. In either case they are both treatable. 

Vertigo and balance disorders can be caused by medications, specific health conditions or an inner ear problem. A sufferer with these symptoms can feel dizzy, unsteady or have an abnormal sense of movement when moving their head. Due to these issues the risk of falling increases, and this may lead to  the affected person limiting physical activity, or withdrawing from social environments. 

At Albuquerque Hearing and Balance, physical therapy is used to address vertigo and balance issues with exercises known as vestibular rehabilitation. 


Learning the cause of vertigo or a balance problem is necessary to construct the best plan of care for your  rehabilitation. During the course of your evaluation your physical therapist is able to customize your appointment, this will provide results that will allow the therapist to adapt a plan of care that is tailored to your specific issues. Vestibular rehabilitation needs to be specific to you and prescribed correctly.  So as to provide the highest quality of care, the full duration of all of your appointments will be with the physical therapist that specializes in vestibular rehabilitation at Albuquerque Hearing and Balance. 

 In some cases of vertigo,  treatment will only take one or two sessions. In other cases you may need to have more sessions. Yet, some of the exercises can be performed at home and while others will be completed  in weekly therapy sessions. Within about 6 weeks, many people start to have improvement in their balance and vertigo symptoms. 


Since each plan of care is specific to the individual, they will all be a little different. Some more common components and exercises involve specific head movements, balance exercises and walking exercises.

Some of these exercises will be done one on one at Albuquerque Hearing and Balance with the physical therapist. You will also have exercises that you perform at home. All of the exercises that are performed both at home and in the clinic are dosed both for your condition and ability.  Working with your therapist it may be determined that new exercises are appropriate and will be prescribed. Periodically reassessments will be performed to see if further therapy is needed. At that point it may be recommended that you can stop some of the exercises completely.  A good thing to remember regardless of how long it has been since you have completed therapy; walking and balance exercises are always good to maintain the improvements that you have made.