Vestibular Migraine

The brain, in all its complexity, is intimately connected with the inner ear and balance system, known as the vestibular system. It’s a delicate dance of signals and responses that keeps us steady and focused. But when a misstep occurs, like in the case of vestibular migraine, it can throw off our entire equilibrium. Fortunately, targeted therapies like vestibular therapy can provide significant relief for those suffering from this condition.

How will vestibular therapy help with my vestibular migraine?

Vestibular therapy, sometimes referred to as vestibular rehabilitation, is a specialized form of physical therapy designed to address problems of the vestibular system. It has emerged as a promising treatment option for patients with vestibular migraine. Here’s how it can help:

Balance Training: One of the primary goals of vestibular therapy is to improve balance. Many exercises focus on stabilizing the gaze and enhancing postural control, which can be especially beneficial for those who experience dizziness or unsteadiness during a migraine episode.

Compensation Techniques: The brain possesses a remarkable ability to adapt. Vestibular therapy can help train the brain to use other senses (like vision or touch) to compensate for the disruptions caused by vestibular migraines.

Desensitization Exercises: Some individuals with vestibular migraines may become hypersensitive to movement or specific motions that trigger symptoms. Desensitization exercises gradually introduce these motions in controlled environments, reducing the anxiety and symptoms associated with them.

Lifestyle Adjustments: A vestibular therapist can also provide guidance on lifestyle changes, from dietary modifications to relaxation techniques, which can reduce the frequency or severity of vestibular migraine episodes.

How can I tell if it’s Vestibular migraine?

Distinguishing vestibular migraine from other conditions can be intricate, but specific signs and symptoms help identify this condition:

Dizziness and Vertigo: Unlike traditional migraines, which primarily involve severe headaches, vestibular migraines often manifest as dizziness or a spinning sensation (vertigo) that lasts from minutes to hours.

Headaches: These may or may not be present. When they occur, they typically exhibit migraine-like characteristics such as being one-sided, throbbing, or accompanied by light and sound sensitivity.

Balance Disturbances: Walking in a straight line might become a challenge, or there’s a sensation of unsteadiness, making you feel as if you’re about to topple over.

Auditory Symptoms: Some individuals report tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or a sensation of fullness in one or both ears.

Visual Disturbances: Vestibular migraines may result in heightened sensitivity to motion in your surroundings, complicating tasks like watching television or tracking moving objects.

At our clinic, we use state-of-the-art infrared goggles to assist in diagnosing vestibular conditions. These goggles enable us to view the eyes’ movements directly, which can provide invaluable insights into vestibular system function and disturbances. By capturing and analyzing these eye movements, we can more accurately diagnose vestibular migraines and differentiate them from other conditions.

Should you experience the aforementioned symptoms, it is imperative to consult a healthcare professional for a precise diagnosis. Other conditions can manifest similarly, and our specialized equipment and expertise ensure a comprehensive evaluation.

What caused my Vestibular migraine in Clive?

The exact cause of vestibular migraine remains elusive, but it’s believed to be a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Here are some potential triggers:

Genetic Predisposition: Individuals with a family history of migraines are at a higher risk of developing vestibular migraines.

Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, especially in women, can trigger vestibular migraine episodes. This is why some women may experience symptoms around their menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, or during menopause.

Dietary Triggers: Certain foods and beverages, like aged cheeses, red wine, chocolate, and those containing MSG or caffeine, can precipitate vestibular migraines in some individuals.

Stress: High levels of stress or drastic changes in stress levels can act as triggers.

Environmental Factors: Bright lights, loud noises, or changes in barometric pressure might initiate a vestibular migraine for some.

Medications: Some medications have side effects that can trigger vestibular symptoms or migraines.

Vestibular Migraine Relief in Clive

Living with vestibular migraine can be disruptive and disheartening. But it’s crucial to remember that help is available. Our team of dedicated physical therapists, specializing in vestibular therapy, is here to guide you through a personalized treatment plan. With expertise, compassion, and cutting-edge therapeutic techniques, we aim to provide you with the tools and strategies to manage, reduce, or even eliminate your symptoms. Don’t let vestibular migraine control your life. Reach out to us today, and let’s embark on your journey to relief and balance together.

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Karna Bosman

Annette was thorough in her evaluation, helped me figure out the source of my hip pain and how to resolve it. Excellent care.


Annette does a great job of isolating the issues causing the pain and addressing them. Definitely recommend that you use Annette for all of your physical therapy needs.