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About Us

What is the vestibular system?


The vestibular system includes the peripheral vestibular system (the inner ear and the pathway to the brain) and the central vestibular system (the brain and brainstem). This system is responsible for maintaining balance, stability and spatial orientation. It can do so with the reflexes that coordinate eye and head  movements to keep vision in focus, activate neck musculature to stabilize the head and maintain posture to an upright position.


What does a vestibular physiotherapist do?


A vestibular physiotherapist focuses on rehabilitation with individualized, exercised-based treatment that can be effective in improving symptoms related to many vestibular disorders. These disorders include vertigo, dizziness, vestibular migraines, concussions, and traumatic brain injury. During a comprehensive clinical assessment, three different compensation mechanisms, or recovery principles are used:


- Adaptation: Involves readjusting the gain of the vestibulo-ocular and vestibulospinal reflexes, where nerve impulses in the brain adapt to the incorrect signals  from the damaged peripheral vestibular system.

- Substitution: Employs alternative strategies to replace the lost vestibular function.

- Habituation: Occurs through repetitive exposure to provocative movement. 


  • Some examples of vestibular exercises commonly used in vestibular rehabilitation are:

  • Canalith Repositing Maneuver

  • Gaze Stabilization Exercises

  • Balance Retraining

  • Optokinetic Stimulation Exercises

  • Habituation Exercises

What does a neurological physiotherapist do?


A neurological physiotherapist has specialized training and experience in treating individuals with neurological conditions, or those who have suffered a neurological injury. Injuries and conditions that affect the nervous system can make it difficult to perform regular functions and day-to-day tasks. A neurological physiotherapist's uniquely specialized and skilled experience allows them to understand ones condition and provide realistic and informed treatment plans.


Often times, hospitalization can be a reality for many living with a neurological condition or injury. A neurological physiotherapist will work to help prevent admission and assist in recovery upon returning home. They will provide education and support to newly diagnosed individuals with a wide variety of neurological conditions and work together to meet their mobility goals and regain strength and function. 

Alberta Neurologic Centre Physiotherapy
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