Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy can mean a lot of different things.

Chaz is going physical therapy by walking in the dark, right Chaz?

I’m wondering if any of you are undergoing physical therapy, tell me what kind, and give me a description of it.



Hi Julie

I had physical therapy a few months ago when they thought I had Labyrinthitis. Once they told me I had MAV, they said there was no point doing the exercises again until the migraine started to be under control, which hasn’t happened yet so I haven’t restarted! Here are the exercises she gave me for MAV though:

Write a short word on a piece of paper and pin it on a wall at eye level.

  1. Stand a few feet away and move your head from left to right, keeping your eyes on the word, twenty times.
  2. Stand a few feet away and move your head from up and down, keeping your eyes on the word, twenty times.
    Do these 3 times per day.

When you can do the above without getting dizzy move onto:

  1. Do exercise number 1 but walk towards the word at the same time as moving your head (you don’t want to go cross eyed so stop before you get too close).
  2. Do exercise number 2 but walk towards the word at the same time as moving your head (you don’t want to go cross eyed so stop before you get too close).
    3 times per day.

When you can do that without getting dizzy move onto:

  1. Put the word onto a checkerboard background and on a swirly background then do exercises 1-4 for each one. (3 times per day)
    When you can do that without getting dizzy move onto:

  2. Hold the word in your hand and move it to the left and your head to the right whilst keeping your eyes on the word. Then move your head and hand the other way. Do this 20 times (3 times per day). Hope this one makes sense, I can’t think how to describe it!

Hope these make sense, if you have any questions please ask.

Disclaimer: Please note that these exercises should only be done after being instructed by a professional. I wouldn’t advise following my instructions on your own! :wink:


I understand the disclaimer :wink: but to clarify, those are exercises you ARE doing while you HAVE MAV, correct?

Thanks Becky!

They are exercises designed for people with MAV. But I’m not doing them at the moment because I haven’t found a drug yet to get my symptoms under control. The physio said that until then, I would be just making myself suffer unnecessarily by doing them because they make you feel a lot dizzier with no benefit.


gotcha, i was thinking, i’m so suppressed with Klonopin, that they may be no good, but maybe i’m just the right candidate.

thanks, Becky

Hi Julie,

Late last year after an ENG evaluation I was told by my ENT that I have a vestibular weakness on the left side and was referred to physical therapy for vestibular rehabilitation exercises. Prior to this I have been diagnosed with migraine about five times.

I finally started physical therapy earlier this year and performed the exercises for about three months. I experienced no significant improvements, and eventually gave up after a horrible airplane flight experience. I haven’t been on any regular meds in over a year.

My first exercise is similar to one of Becky’s. The instruction sheet I received called this exercise Head and Eye (VOC) Exercises. Put a one inch black circle at eye level on the wall, and stand three feet away from it. Then for 30 seconds, moving your head left to right, back and forth continuously for 30 seconds while keeping the black dot in focus. Same thing for another 30 seconds, but instead you move head up and down for 30 seconds while keeping the dot in focus. I was to do this about 8 times a day.

About a month later this same exercise was given to me, except this time it was a white dot on in the middle of a full sheet with a black and white checkered background.

In addition, a new exercise using a small solid colored plastic ball (like one of those kid toy balls they sell at drugstores…) holding it out in front of me with both arms, while standing up, focusing on the little black dot on the ball (the air plug), and turning slowly around in place 10 times, while staying focused on the black spot on the ball. Going slow enough to not get dizzier, but being able to make ten rotations. Then I was supposed to repeat again for ten rotations but turning in the opposite direction.

The ball exercise was at twice a day. I could never make it past four rotations on this one… and for me it was a guaranteed bad day after this particular exercise. The plain dot exercise never seemed to make my dizziness worse. The white dot on checkered background would mess me up a bit for about a half hour and I never really got used to it.

Maybe I gave up too soon…and honestly, I never could get up to speed with those ball exercises. It’s just so awful, doing something on purpose that I know is going to mess me up for the rest of the day. I contacted my ENT specialist recently to tell him that I’m still having problems, and he re-recommended the physical therapy for vestibular rehabilitation exercises. :?


I know exactly what you mean Crystal. I thought the same thing as I was trying out Becky’s PT maneuvers. I think i would need someone to tell me what the point was before doing something to intentionally make me feel like sh-it. i can get that by walking too far :slight_smile:

I think i’ll PM MSDXD and see what he has to say about his PT. He seems to be doing well with it.

Thanks guys!

Yeah, while it’s certainly not formal vestibular therapy, I’m walking in the dark and with my eyes closed to try to help the light headedness. And yes, the basic theory of vestibular rehab is that if you have a STABLE vestibular deficit, you should do more of whatever makes you feel like crap. I actually buy into this one. People with complete vestibular loss on both sides ultimately got on to live pretty much normal lives because the brain learns to adapt. But the key here is STABLE. I didn’t try to do anything like this when I was experience acute episodes of vertigo. I figured it would be an exercise in futility to try to teach my brain to adjust to a rapidly changing dynamic condition. Now that the acute vertigo episodes are gone I’m trying to push myself to do whatever makes me feel like crap - at least in limited amounts. So far so good - I can walk in dark rooms now without too much discomfort. I’m sure that this will be a long battle, but for now at least it appears I’m making progress.


you can tell you’re making progress because you can walk around in the darkness with more ease, right? did it make you dizzier when you first started and less dizzy now?

I lie in bed and write in my journal.
Does that count? :mrgreen: