Vestibular Rehabilitation

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) is an exercise-based treatment that addresses a patient’s balance deficits, vertigo/dizziness, and loss of function.


Goals of Vestibular Rehabilitation:

    • Improved function
    • Enhanced balance/postural stability
    • Reduction in vertigo/dizziness
    • Enhanced gaze stability

Indications for Vestibular Rehabilitation

    • Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) therapy is indicated for any stable but poorly compensated vestibular lesion, regardless of the patient’s age, the cause, or symptom duration and intensity.
    • Patients with progressive or central vestibular lesions can still benefit from VR, but will likely require more prolonged treatment, and generally have a less favorable prognosis¹.
    • Patients with both unilateral and bilateral vestibular lesions can benefit from VR².
    • Patients with BPPV should be assessed and treated with canalith repositioning maneuvers³.


Components of Vestibular Rehabilitation

    • Adaptation
    • Habituation
    • Substitution
    • Balance Training
    • Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers




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Introducing our Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist

Samuel Lucas, PT, DPT

Sam received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2020 from the University of Pittsburgh. While in Pittsburgh, Sam received extensive training in vestibular rehabilitation from leaders in the field. Sam also has experience working in outpatient neurological, and inpatient stroke/traumatic brain injury rehabilitation units, where he successfully treated patients with both peripheral and central vestibular disorders. Sam actively pursues continuing education relating to patients with vestibular and balance disorders. He also holds a certificate in vestibular rehabilitation.
Most physical therapists are not trained to handle patients with vestibular pathologies. Physical therapists only get sufficient training in vestibular rehabilitation to enable them to pass their boards examination. Usually, there is only 1 question relating to vestibular rehabilitation on the boards examination.
In addition to vestibular rehabilitation, Sam also enjoys working with patients suffering from non-vestibular balance dysfunction. Sam has also successfully worked with a variety of athletes, ranging from dancers with the Pittsburgh Ballet, to adaptive athletes engaging in sports such as skiing, sled hockey, and hand cycling.

Our Philosophy

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of evidence-based care in a friendly and encouraging environment. Balance can be affected by many primary or secondary diagnoses. Denali Physical Therapy will provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine the areas of deficit, and treat accordingly. An emphasis on functional activities is present throughout. If a patient can tolerate walking, running, or otherwise moving, they will be encouraged to do so. Our goal is to create an environment that optimizes the patient’s ability to heal. Having prompt, appropriate treatment contributes to a faster recovery, which means a quicker return to work, daily activities, hobbies, and sports.