How Can Dizziness Be Treated with Physical Therapy?


So many things cause chronic or regular dizziness that medical professionals can treat with general medical care, but sometimes it can be difficult to treat precisely because of the wide range of causes.

Thankfully, physical therapy is an effective solution to many forms of vertigo and conditions that cause dizziness. You can even apply these solutions to home health if you can’t go to a center.

Therapy for Cervicogenic Dizziness

Cervicogenic dizziness (CD) is a clinical syndrome that affects more people than commonly thought. Though much less common than other vertigo-inducing conditions, CD affects a significant portion of the population with problems in the neck.

It’s arguably harder to detect simply because it shares symptoms with other conditions. That said, a recent study by Sho Takashi revealed that up to 90 percent of elder patients experiencing dizziness could attribute it to CD.

As a treatment plan, the physical therapist will focus on a patient’s neck pathology. Exercise, training to improve posture, and consistent therapy to ease the muscles are all part of the process. Over time, this should improve the symptoms of the condition. If patients don’t improve from neck treatment, PTs will then move on to vestibular rehabilitation.

Vestibular rehabilitation makes use of eye and balance exercises and graded exposure. Using this method, patients will slowly be exposed to things that trigger their dizziness over six to eight weeks. In many cases, PTs will combine both manual therapy and vestibular rehabilitation.

Causes of Cervicogenic Dizziness

CD is usually triggered by an event that affects the neck. Alternatively, it can also be caused by any brain, inner ear, or vestibular issues. If you suffer from any whiplash or trauma, it can induce CD. Neck pain combined with disorientation or dizziness is a clear symptom that could indicate the development of CD.

Therapy for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

This condition is more common and is caused by issues with the inner ear. Because your vestibular system is affected, the body tries to maintain your balance even as its perception of your position may be incorrect. This is why most people with BPPV will start to feel the world spinning around suddenly and intensely when changing the position of their heads. 

More severe BPPV cases will see this sensation triggered even by just a slight movement like looking up or turning one’s head slightly. That said, the condition is not intense or dangerous. 

As for treatment, a PT will conduct an initial assessment that will help determine which ear is causing the problem. Take note that this will entail movements that may inevitably trigger a bout of BPPV. 

Individuals with this condition will have otoconia pieces (which are supposed to be part of your inner ear’s layers) broken off and astray in the semicircular canal of your ear. So, your PT’s goal will be to remove these crystals. Using certain motions and head movements, your PT will get the crystals to naturally fall out of the canal. After a few sessions, there should be a significant improvement. 

For more complicated cases, a PT will usually continue to provide home exercises for more complicated cases until the problem is corrected.

Causes of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV is more common in females. Usually, aging, trauma, infections, and conditions that loosen the crystals cause BPPV onset. It can also be passed on genetically. That said, most cases have no known cause. 


If you are suffering from either of these conditions, physical therapy is a great solution that can relieve your symptoms. Home health care agencies can send a licensed physical therapist to help you manage your condition at home. If you’re uncertain what condition you may have, an assessment should help you pinpoint the cause.

Bridge Home Health provides home-based clinical care with a team of trained clinicians and therapists. If you’re looking for home health in California, give us a call to visit a location near you.