Vestibular Physiotherapy

Vestibular Physiotherapy

What is Vestibular Physiotherapy?

Vestibular physiotherapy addresses problems with your vestibular system. Your vestibular system commonly causes symptoms such as vertigodizziness, spinning, nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), double vision, or impaired balance.

Vestibular Physiotherapists have additional training and experience in the assessment and treatment or vertigodizziness and other vestibular issues, including poor balance.

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system contributes to your balance and sense of spatial orientation. Your vestibular system is comprised of two components:

  • Semicircular canal system, which detects rotational movements
  • Otoliths, which indicate linear accelerations.

The vestibular system sends signals primarily to your brainstem and neural structures that control eye movements, and your balance mechanisms. Your vestibular system is located in your inner ear.

Vertigo or Dizziness?

They do differ slightly. Please view the links below for more information.

Common Causes of Vertigo or Dizziness

Due to the complex diagnostic skills required to accurately diagnose the cause of your vertigo or dizziness, we highly recommend seeking the professional opinion of a healthcare practitioner with a special interest in, or expertise in the assessment and management of vestibular disorders.

Article by I.Kelly, N.Stewart

FAQS about Dizziness & Vertigo

What is the PhysioWorks Difference?

Friendly & Caring Service

One thing that you'll notice about the PhysioWorks team is that they are very friendly and caring health professionals. We know that sometimes pain or injury can make you a little less tolerant, so we've trained our healthcare team always to greet and treat you like they would a family member or best friend.

Thorough & Unrushed

Everyone should be entitled to individualised professional care. That's why we book longer initial appointments to ensure that your unhurried first visit will include a thorough and individualised assessment of your injury or problem. This extra time, then allows us to discuss your short, medium and long-term goals and treatment options before commencing your rehabilitation.

You'll find that your PhysioWorks healthcare practitioner is not only a great listener, but also an excellent treatment planner to focus on your efficient and effective treatment outcome. After all, that's why you have chosen to see us in the first place.

What is the Aim of Your Initial Consultation?

Because we do spend more time than most physiotherapists thoroughly assessing, by the completion of your initial consultation, we should be able to determine and inform you:

  • What exactly is your problem
  • Why you are experiencing pain or dysfunction etc
  • What you can be doing to correct it
  • How long it will most likely take to recover
  • How to prevent a future recurrence

Your Tailored Treatment Plan

Your physiotherapist will design a specific treatment program specifically for you based upon your examination. Your treatment may include hands-on treatment, such as joint manipulation, mobilisation or massage. It will probably also include lots of helpful advice and home exercises. We'll also use other technology or treatment tools depending upon your needs.

Your treatment will vary depending upon your age, sex, sport, work requirements or lifestyle, so generic therapies tend to be effective than specifically targeted treatment plans.

As highly-trained exercise prescribers, your physiotherapist will usually instruct you on specific exercises and stretches for you to undertake at home to assist in your rapid recovery. We'll also offer you some helpful advice to help ease your pain, such as the appropriate resting positions or whether to use heat or ice and precisely for how long.

The result is prompt pain reduction, quicker natural healing and your successful return to full activity, whether it be work or sport, as soon as possible.

How Long is Your Physiotherapy Appointment?

Allow at least one hour for your initial physiotherapy session. Subsequent treatments are usually 30 to 60 minutes in duration. Your physiotherapist will inform you if additional or less time is required. Complex or multiple regions may require a longer consultation. Our receptionist will happily book an appropriate appointment for your clinical needs.

Do You Need a Referral to Consult a Physiotherapist?

A doctor's referral is not required to see a physiotherapist in private practice unless you are claiming a work injury (e.g. Workcover), or some other insurance claims. Department of Veterans Affairs patients will require a doctor referral. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or you are planning for your treatment to be funded by an insurance company, it is good practice to consult your GP for a referral.

What About Private Health Insurance?

A proportion of treatment costs is rebatable under all higher table private health insurance schemes. The private health insurance rebates do vary considerably depending upon your specific coverage.

What is HICAPS?

PhysioWorks is linked to the HICAPS electronic health fund system so you can instantly claim your rebate at the time of treatment. You'll need to present your health insurance card to our receptionist.

Who is a Physiotherapist?

Your physiotherapist is a university-trained medical professional who uses a natural and physical approach to restore, maintain or optimise your physical and psychological well-being. This will enable  you to perform and enjoy your chosen sport, work or everyday activities. In simple terms, your physiotherapist is a health mechanic for the human body.

During a physiotherapist's university training, the study of the human body anatomy, physiology and movement biomechanics, particularly the muscle and joint system. This deep education understanding, helps your physiotherapist to not only diagnose health conditions but also to utilise hands-on techniques, educational advice and exercise prescription to resolve your problem.

Physiotherapy is a science-based methodology that is continually evolving as new research discovers better ways to treat your body. Your physiotherapist will use their extensive knowledge of the human body and highly-trained skills to help restore your aching, stiff and dysfunctional muscles and joints to health.

Physiotherapists at PhysioWorks are highly skilled in numerous niche areas of physiotherapy. These include sports and exercise physiotherapy, musculoskeletal physiotherapy, ergonomics  (workplace wellness), vestibular, jaw and headache dysfunction. Plus, women's health, to name a few.

Vertigo & Dizziness

Common Causes

Due to the complex diagnostic skills required to accurately diagnose the cause of your vertigo or dizziness, we highly recommend seeking the professional opinion of a healthcare practitioner with a special interest in, or expertise in the assessment and management of vestibular disorders.

Vertigo or Dizziness?

Vertigo or dizziness, are symptoms rather than a disease. Vertigo refers to the sensation of spinning or whirling that occurs as a result of a disturbance in your balance (vestibular) system. Vertigo may be used to describe feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, and unsteadiness. The sensation of movement is called subjective vertigo, and the perception of motion in surrounding objects is called objective vertigo. Vertigo usually occurs as a result of a disorder in the vestibular system (structures of the inner ear, the vestibular nerve, brainstem, and cerebellum). Your vestibular system is responsible for integrating sensory stimuli and movement and for keeping objects in visual focus as the body moves. When your head moves, signals transmit to the labyrinth, which is an apparatus in the inner ear made up of three semi-circular canals surrounded by fluid. The labyrinth then transmits movement information to the vestibular nerve and the vestibular nerve carries the information to the brainstem and cerebellum (areas of the brain that control balance, posture, and motor coordination). The most common cause of dizziness is BPPV. Others include Inflammation in the inner ear, Meniere's disease, neck joint dysfunction, vestibular migraine and acoustic neuroma. Rarely, vertigo can be a symptom of a more serious neurological problem such as a stroke or brain haemorrhage.

Private Health Insurance Rebates

PhysioWorks Physiotherapy and Remedial Massage are more affordable than you think. Your Private Health Insurance (PHI) usually pays for the majority of your treatment fees, leaving you with only a small gap payment.

However, Private Health Funds do vary their rebates payable depending upon the level of cover that you have taken. Some funds have kept up with the costs of modern medicine whereas, sadly others haven't, with rebates similar to what they were a decade ago.

HICAPS - Instant Health Fund Claims


Most health funds are members of the HICAPS instant claims system.  Swipe your health insurance card at our reception counter, and you can instantly claim your physiotherapy treatment via our online Hicaps System. Remedial Massage is claimable via Hicaps for some but not all funds. For more information, please visit Hicaps for the latest funds which can use their instant claiming system.

Private health insurance rebates are available for all of our physiotherapists. Instant claims are possible via our in-practice Hicaps system.

Third-Party Insurers

PhysioWorks practitioners are registered providers for government, Workcover and insurance companies including:

  • Workcover
  • InjuryNet
  • Australia Post; Coles Myer; Woolworths
  • Medicare
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • CTP & Sports Insurers
Article by I.Kelly, N.Stewart
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