Vestibular Rehabilitation: Conventional and Virtual Reality-Based Methods

Mutlu B.

in: Recent Advances in the Auditory and Vestibular Systems, Prof. Stavros Hatzopoulos,Dr. Andrea Ciorba, Editor, Intech Open, London, pp.1-13, 2022

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Vocational Book
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Publisher: Intech Open
  • City: London
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-13
  • Editors: Prof. Stavros Hatzopoulos,Dr. Andrea Ciorba, Editor


Abstract The vestibular system is responsible for sensing the velocity and acceleration of angular and linear movements of the head and sensitivity to gravity in maintaining balance with its peripheral and central structures. It performs this function through vestibular reflexes. When peripheral vestibular diseases occur unilaterally or bilaterally, the functions of vestibular reflexes are affected, resulting in deterioration in eye movements compatible with head movements and anti-gravity muscle activity coordination, which ensures upright posture against gravity. Dizziness and/or imbalance persist in patients in whom the central compensation process cannot be completed, resulting in restrictions in the patient’s independent movements, daily activities, and quality of life. In the middle and long term, these restrictions cause sedentary life, fear of falling, loss of general condition, emotional problems, and social isolation. In patients diagnosed with unilateral peripheral vestibular disease, vestibular rehabilitation methods based on exercise and living environment arrangements are used as valid and reliable methods to support central compensation mechanisms and to eliminate movement restrictions. Along with conventional exercises, virtual reality-based vestibular rehabilitation systems on stable or unstable platforms are also used for this purpose. In this chapter, the essential principles of conventional and virtual reality-based vestibular rehabilitation methods take place. Keywords: vestibular disorders, imbalance, central compensation, vestibular rehabilitation, virtual reality