Vestibular rehabilitation is based on the use of adaptive and compensatory mechanisms already existing in the human brain. Research using animals provides a great deal of information on the neural mechanisms responsible for these functions and suggests strategies that should be helpful in rehabilitation of patients with disequilibrium and balance disorders. Research in animals and human beings suggests that rehabilitation should be specifically designed, depending on the patients' deficits. It also suggests that to be effective it needs to be started soon after impairment and that vestibulosuppressive medication may reduce recovery. Studies are now underway to evaluate the effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation on several groups of patients and to answer some fundamental questions about the mechanisms and the effectiveness of these treatment methods. Current information suggests that vestibular rehabilitation is an effective method of therapy for many patients with disequilibrium and balance disorders and that for some patients it is the best therapy available.
ASJC Scopus subject areas