Anyone had success with VRT?


I was wondering that experience you guys have of VRT?
I started on some about a month ago. I’ve been doing Brandt-Daroff exercises to try to stop the spinning I was getting turning over at night, and I have to say this has worked wonderfully. The first few days I did them I was getting mild spinning vertigo every time I lay down to my right, but within a week my brain must have got used to it, and I’m now able to sleep without worrying about waking up spinning :smiley:
However, after a couple of weeks doing that I started adding in some exercises holding a pencil in front of me and keeping my eyes focusses on it, while I move my head to and fro. This makes me feel quite motion sick doing it, but I was anticipating it causing that to start with. The only problem is that the last few days I have been worse all day long, and not just doing the exercises. I’m not sure if the VRT is causing these problems, as I’ve also been doing a lot of computer work that would also normally aggravate things for me.
My consultant wouldn’t start me on VRT for a long time and even now she did warn me that a lot of migraineurs don’t tolerate it and have to stop. The thing is, as I’ve had a good result with meds, I really see the VRT as my only chance of getting back to normal, and especially to sort the problems out with my eyes (I have a poor vestibular occular reflex on one side, and also I have oscillopsia), so I don’t want to stop.
So really, can anyone here give me some encouragement that they did VRT and it helped them?

The exercise with the pencil that you’re speaking about did help with my gaze after about 4 weeks. I don’t know why I stopped but it did make the gaze normal again.


Hi Beechleaf
I was doing VRT for awhile along with some balance exercises. The balance exercises helped a lot. The very best advice that my physical therapist had for me after 3 weeks was just go out and do lots of things in various settings such as natural and indoor lighting to force the brain to reset itself. That has really pretty much done the trick for me: I’m probably at about 95-99% on environmental improvement at this point. However, if my blood sugar drops too low or I’m extremely tired and I go into a screeching, noisy restaurant/store with strange lighting/decor, etc. I’m likely to feel a bit woozy or off. But all in all, I’m SO much better than months ago that’s it’s really quite hard to believe (and I have taken topamax for around 6 months now as well).

i’m currently into my 3rd week of vrt and i think it was helping until last week i started my period and it threw everything off for me. i remember telling my husband that i think it was helping although i do feel crummy the next day doing it. i figure it has to be doing something good and am careful not to over do it. i have 4 exercises i do a day.

Greg - thanks, that’s reassuring to hear that.

Gail - really glad to hear the VRT and topamax is working for you. I will stick with the exercises.

Salem - sorry to hear you are feeling a bit worse again. I’ve already put something in your other message about hormones, but I always feel my balance is a bit woozy/off just before my period. Even when I’ve had the whole rest of the month feeling normal. It kind of reminds me that I’m not 100% better. I would think you’re just having a hormonal blip (like I get every month) and the medication and VRT is still working for you. Hopefully you’ll feel back to how you were before within a few days.

Hi Beech – did you read this by Steve Rauch?

[size=130]On Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)[/size]

My general experience is that most migraineurs cannot tolerate vestibular rehab until their migraine is under control. If they try VRT first, they usually quit after the second session because it makes them feel so ill. That said, Sue Whitney at Univ of Pittsburgh has research suggesting that there is VRT benefit in migraine.

As you well know, balance differs from all other senses in that all the other senses depend on only a single “flavor” of sensory input, while balance depends upon integration of multiple sensory channels (labyrinth, vision, somatosensory, etc). Since migraine screws up the calibration of sensory signal processing, sensory integration is deranged. I believe this is best operational definition of the balance disturbances seen in MAV – a disturbance of sensory integration. If this model is correct, one would predict that VRT will not work until the sensory signals can be stabilised enough to allow for relearning of the integrative tasks (or for the signals to revert to their pre-migraine calibration).

Thanks Scott, no I’ve not read that, but I will do later. My consultant has only just started me on VRT as she wanted my MAV to be stable first, which it pretty much is, as I’ve not had any really bad attacks since last August, since I went on the propranolol/pizotifen combo.