Concussion and Vestibular

A concussion is a non-congenital insult to the brain from an external mechanical force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment of cognitive, physical, and/or psychosocial function, with an associated diminished or altered state of consciousness.

Concussions are a complex injury that everyone experiences differently. The signs of a concussion may include but not limited to:

  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness or feeling sluggish
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision or blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Balance problems
  • Slowed reaction to stimuli
  • Vestibular system disorders
  • Increased symptoms with physical activity or job demands

A concussion is an injury that can have far-reaching consequences, impacting you, your family, work, and fun. It can occur after an impact or jarring motion to your head such as a whiplash injury, MVA, or fall that causes your head and brain to shake quickly back and forth.

Please contact our team today if you or someone you know has had a concussion or been experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Our physiotherapists help manage concussions by educating you on management strategies, activities to engage in and avoid, manual therapy for the neck, and providing rehabilitative and/or brain re-training exercises if required.

Vestibular physiotherapy addresses problems with your Vestibular System or inner ear, which can often be a culprit for impairments with dizziness, vertigo, and balance.

What is the actual difference between Dizziness and Vertigo?
Dizziness – is described as the feeling of imbalance, light-headedness, and/or faintness.

Vertigo – is the perception or sensation of spinning and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting often confused with dizziness.

Both dizziness and vertigo have can have multiple causes. Our Physiotherapists will help you to determine what the cause of your problem is and how to correct it. Some potential causes of vertigo and dizziness include:

  • Head trauma (whiplash)
  • Vestibular Neuritis/Labyrinthitis
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Vestibular system degeneration ie elderly
  • Ototoxicity, barotrauma, acoustic neuroma
  • Cardiovascular
  • Neurological
  • Cervicogenic
  • Metabolic
  • Medication-related

Treatment typically addresses restoring proper balance and treating dizziness disorders.

Complaints of dizziness, if arising from the vestibular system, may be treated with particle positioning techniques (BPPV), specific exercises, dietary guidelines, and education, depending on the cause. We may prescribe appropriate balance, habituation, or accommodation exercises.

Contact us if you feel you can benefit from an assessment, we look forward to helping you.

Deb MacLeod


Colette Stark


Tanya Van Dam


Kevin Leahy