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How Long Does Vestibular Rehabilitation Take to Work?

Updated: May 14

How Long Does Vestibular Rehabilitation Take to Work?

Feeling dizzy or off-balance can be really frustrating. If you've been diagnosed with a vestibular disorder, your doctor might recommend vestibular rehabilitation (VR). But you might be wondering, how long does vestibular rehabilitation take to work?

Here’s the brief for you: The duration of vestibular rehabilitation therapy's effectiveness varies based on factors like the —

  • specific vestibular disorder, 

  • symptom severity, 

  • treatment consistency, 

  • and patient age. 

On average, patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo may experience improvement within a few days to a week. Let’s get into the details of this topic further.

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation is a special kind of therapy designed to help people who have problems with their balance and dizziness. It focuses on the vestibular system, which is the part of our body responsible for balance and spatial orientation. When this system isn't working properly, it can lead to feelings of dizziness, vertigo, and unsteadiness.

How Does Vestibular Rehabilitation Work?

During vestibular rehabilitation, a trained therapist will work with you to improve your balance and reduce your feelings of dizziness. They'll use a variety of exercises and techniques to help your brain learn to compensate for any problems in your vestibular system. These exercises might include things like —

  • eye movements, 

  • head movements,

  • and balance exercises.

How Long Does Vestibular Rehabilitation Take to Work?

The time it takes for vestibular rehabilitation to work can vary from person to person. For some people, they might start to feel better after just a few sessions. For others, it might take several weeks or even months to see significant improvement. 

It all depends on factors like the severity of your symptoms, how long you've been experiencing them, and how well you stick to your therapy plan.

So, there's no one-size-fits-all answer, but most people start to feel better within 4-6 weeks of regular VR sessions. This usually involves attending physical therapy appointments once or twice a week, where you'll learn specific exercises. But the key is to consistently practice these exercises at home, too.

Here's the Thing

VR isn't about a quick fix. It's about retraining your brain, and that takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you don't feel amazing right away. Stick with it, and you'll gradually see progress.

For some conditions, improvement can be even faster:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This is a common type of vertigo where dizziness is triggered by head movements. VR exercises can often help within a few days to a week.

Factors Impacting Vestibular Therapy Duration

Factors Impacting Vestibular Therapy Duration

Here are some things that can affect how long VR takes to work:

  • Type of Balance Problem: What kind of balance problem you have makes a big difference in how long therapy will take to help.

For instance, if you have a common issue called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which can make you feel dizzy, you might start feeling better in a few days to a week. But if you have a more long-lasting problem like Meniere's disease, it might take longer to see improvement.

  • How Bad Your Symptoms Are: If your symptoms are really bad, it might take longer for therapy to make you feel better compared to someone with milder symptoms.

  • Doing Your Exercises Regularly: Doing your exercises regularly is super important. The more you stick to your exercises, the faster you'll start feeling better.

  • How Old You Are: Your age also matters. Older adults might take longer to feel better compared to younger folks when it comes to balance problems.

What Can I Expect?

When you start vestibular rehabilitation, you might feel a bit uncomfortable or even dizzy at first. This is normal, and it's just your body adjusting to the exercises. But as you continue with your therapy, you should start to notice improvements in your balance and a reduction in your feelings of dizziness. 

You might also find that you're able to do things like walk, drive, and go about your daily activities with more confidence.

Tips for Success

To get the most out of vestibular rehabilitation, it's important to stick to your therapy plan and do your exercises regularly. Your therapist will give you specific exercises to do at home, and it's important to do them as often as they recommend. 

It's also important to be patient and give yourself time to improve. Vestibular rehabilitation is a gradual process, and it can take time to see results.

Take a detailed look at our informative blog to learn, “What is an RMR test?

Vestibular Therapy Exercises

Vestibular Therapy Exercises

Vestibular therapy exercises are an important part of treating balance problems. These exercises help train the brain to handle balance issues caused by a problem in the vestibular system.  Here are some common exercises:

Gaze Stabilization Exercises

These exercises help your eyes get better at following moving objects, which can reduce feelings of dizziness and vertigo.

Balance Exercises

These exercises improve your balance and coordination, making falls less likely.

Habituation Exercises

These help your brain get used to the feelings of dizziness, making them less severe over time.

Cervical-vestibular Exercises

These exercises improve how your neck and inner ear work together, reducing dizziness and vertigo.

Dynamic Visual Acuity Exercises

They help your brain process what you see while moving, which improves balance and reduces falls.

Otolith Repositioning Exercises

Specifically for people with BPPV, these exercises use head and body movements to fix loose crystals in the inner ear.

Aerobic Exercises

These improve your overall fitness, which in turn helps with balance and reduces the risk of falling.

It's important to know that the exercises you do will depend on your specific balance problem and your needs. Your physical therapist will create a plan tailored just for you.

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How Can You Benefit from Back Bay Fit? 

Back Bay Fit goes beyond just personal training. Partnering with Forward Spine and Sport, we offer a comprehensive rehabilitation program that combines various treatment options:

  • Chiropractic Care: Addresses joint dysfunction and pain, potentially contributing to balance issues.

  • Movement and Gait Analysis: Experts assess your movement patterns and identify areas for improvement to enhance balance.

  • Acupuncture: May help alleviate dizziness and promote overall well-being.

  • ART (Active Release Techniques): Targets specific muscle tension and scar tissue that could be impacting your balance.

  • Graston Technique: Similar to ART, this uses instruments to facilitate soft tissue healing and improve balance.

  • Cupping Therapy: This can promote circulation and pain relief, potentially aiding in the rehabilitation process.

Our team consists of highly qualified professionals dedicated to your well-being. You'll benefit from our expertise and guidance throughout your rehabilitation journey.

Besides, check out our insightful blog to learn about physical therapy strength training.

Wrapping Up

So, in short, how well vestibular rehabilitation works depends on things like what balance problem you have, how bad your symptoms are, how often you do your exercises, and how old you are.

Some folks might feel better pretty quickly, while others with long-term issues might need more time. The key is to stick with your treatment plan and keep at it for the best outcome. That's what "How Long Does Vestibular Rehabilitation Take to Work?" is all about—finding what works best for you.


What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is a process that helps people regain abilities lost due to illness, injury, or disability, aiming for improved function and independence in daily life.

How much is drug rehabilitation?

Drug rehabilitation costs vary depending on factors like location, treatment duration, and amenities offered. On average, it can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

How do I find the best rehabilitation center near me?

Search online for "rehabilitation centers near me" and filter by your insurance and desired program (inpatient/outpatient). Consider facility reviews and ratings to choose the best fit. 

What is the goal of rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation aims to improve a person's function and independence in daily life, allowing them to return to their highest level of ability after illness, injury, or disability.

Is vestibular rehab right for everyone with dizziness?

Not necessarily. While VR helps many with dizziness, it works best for those with inner ear problems. If your dizziness is caused by medication, anxiety, or migraines, other treatment approaches might be more suitable. Talk to your doctor for a diagnosis and discuss VR as a potential option.

Does insurance cover vestibular rehabilitation?

Insurance coverage for VR varies. Contact your insurance provider to understand the details of your specific plan's coverage.

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