Vestibular Rehab Exercises

Here are the most common exercises I give for

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT).

         

Visual tracking:  Hold a card 15 inches in front of you.  Hold your head still and focus on one letter on the card.  Begin to move the card back and forth while remaining focused on the same letter on the card.  After one minute, begin to move the card up and down or in diagonal patterns.  If this is easy, and does not make you dizzy, you may discontinue this one.  Some people are very visually dependent for balance.  These people may get dizzy with visual challenges, and will benefit from these exercises. 

Saccades:  Hold two cards about 18 inches apart, and 15 inches in from to of you. Look from card to card focusing briefly on the writing on each card.  Try to pick up speed as you continue to jump from card to card.  Move only your eyes. Do not move your head or the cards.  After one minute switch to vertical and diagonal placement of the cards. 

  

VOR (Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex): This time hold the card still, focus on one letter on the card, and begin to turn your head from side to side as if shaking your head “no.”  Try to increase speed but remain focused on your chosen letter.  Progress by shaking your head vetically, or in a diagonal direction.  Try to comtinue for one minute at a time. 

Note: It is normal to feel dizzy while doing these exercises.  Try to stick them out, as this is what allows your brain to adapt to the movement.  The intensity of your symptoms will decrease with repetition.  If you must stop, keep your eyes open and stare at a non-moving object. Try to perform these exercises several times per day.

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