Vestibular rehabilitation is a specific approach to physical therapy aimed at reducing dizziness and imbalance by facilitating central nervous system compensation for peripheral vestibular dysfunction. This article reports preliminary results of studies concerning the relative effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation, general conditioning exercises, and vestibular suppressant medication on dizziness and imbalance in patients with chronic vestibular symptoms of at least 6 months duration. Patients with positional and/or movement-related dizziness and abnormal posturography were randomly assigned to the three treatment groups. Preliminary results suggest that although all three treatment approaches reduce dizziness, only vestibular rehabilitation also improves balance. This study takes the first step toward determining the efficacy of a specific exercise approach for reducing dizziness and imbalance in patients with chronic peripheral vestibular disorders.
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