Chiari Online Support Group

Does vestibular therapy help?


Has anyone gone through vestibular therapy to help with vertigo? I have my first appointment this Thursday and I’m just wondering what to expect. I did some readings about it but would love to hear some personal stories, good or bad. I feel like out of all my Chiari symptoms, my vertigo is the worst, it’s also causing vision problems and am wondering if vestibular therapy will help with that as well. I just recently got over a cold and I feel like that made all my symptoms worse. Of course the fact that I have a walking boot on my foot due to a non Chiari problem does not help my balance and!!
Any insight would be appreciated!!


Does vestibular therapy help?

Yes and no!

I saw 5 vestibular therapists over a span of 6-7 years. All said that they could not help me. I have finally found out that Chiari lends itself to central processing problems of vestibular stimuli. Those ear canals and crystals tend to be just fine. Unfortunately, all the therapists I had seen only had training in peripheral vestibular problems and not central (ie stemming from the brain). Of course, if your crystals are wonky then they need to addressed too.

After my surgery, I came across primitive reflex exercises which banished vertigo for a while then I had to do them again. You can find them listed and explained under the “Newbies Guide to Chiari” in the posting “Dizziness and Chiari”. They work great. They are classified as dealing with the neurodeveolpment component of central vestibular processing problems.

Fast forward to this year and I have found a more skilled physical therapist who understands and treats central vestibular processing problems. I have completed a more indepth treatment of the neurodeveolpment aspect and have now started on the vestibular.

Over the years, my propriocetion/tactile contribution to balance has worsened and needs addressing. I am also working on the “yee” and the “yaw” and the “?” in various body positions in space. It all makes me tired but I hope to see improvement over time.

Warning! Be leery of a “vestibular migraine” diagnosis!

Hope that you have a good vestibular therapist and not a lousy one. Assessment! Assessment! Assessment! and hope that they have a suitable knowledge base.


Thank you for that info. I guess I’ll figure out more on Thursday. I’ll take a look at the info you mentioned. I am also getting Myofascial Release and have been on and off for years. I have the best therapist and it has helped me in so many other ways. I have been weary of letting her work on my head but maybe I’ll see what she knows about vestibular therapy. I’m not dizzy all the time, I’m able to lead a fairly normal life but my head feels super heavy all the time and I’m struggling with my vision. I’m really hoping this will help!