In this blog, I discuss the topic of vertigo exercises that are given to a patient without a proper root cause assessment.

Two months ago, I had the honor of presenting my third UCSD Stein Public Lecture, this one with the title, “Dizziness and Vertigo, Part II – Research in Aging.

My goal was to offer an integrated perspective of root causes of dizziness and vertigo from different body systems to empower patients to advocate for themselves, and to offer healthcare providers a new approach to resolving these uncomfortable symptoms.

At the end of my public lecture, there was time set aside for questions from the audience.

The Question

One of the questions that was asked by an audience member was: “My doctor gave me a sheet of vertigo exercises to do and I have been doing them every day but they don’t help. Should I continue with these vertigo exercises?”

My answer to her was that for some mild cases of vertigo, certain exercises may reduce if not completely eliminate the symptoms. However, if vertigo exercises are not helping at all or feel like they may be making vertigo symptoms worse, then they are likely not appropriate for that particular patient at that time.

In her case, there was a lack of Root Cause Evaluation and that was the reason that the vertigo exercises prescribed were not effective.

No one had actually assessed her for the cause of her vertigo symptoms, but instead she was given a generalized set of vertigo exercises for treatment.

When she realized that the exercises were not helping, this woman did not know what other options were available.

My guidance in cases like this is to find a healthcare provider who is a Vestibular Expert and advocate for a specialty evaluation for dizziness and vertigo. Providers who offer Vestibular Rehabilitation should be able to recommend appropriate vertigo exercises, if needed, for anyone who suffers from dizziness or vertigo.

The exciting fact is that in many cases, skilled care by the right provider can resolve dizziness and vertigo without any need for further vertigo exercises.

It depends on the root cause of the vertigo, which will determine which vertigo exercises are needed, if any.

The first step is the find the right healthcare provider.


This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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