Physical Therapy for Migraine-Related Vestibulopathy and Vestibular Dysfunction With History of Migraine

Authors

  • Susan L. Whitney PhD, PT, ATC,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    3. Centers for Rehab Services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Susan L. Whitney, PhD, PT, ATC, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy, 6035 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, U.S.A.
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  • Diane M. Wrisley MS, PT, NCS,

    1. Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Kathryn E. Brown MS, PT, NCS,

    1. Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Joseph M. Furman MD, PhD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Presented at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida, February 21, 2000.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis To assess the efficacy of physical therapy for patients with a diagnosis of migraine-related vestibulopathy (MRV) or vestibular dysfunction with a history of migraine headache.

Study Design Retrospective case series

Methods Thirty-nine patients were identified through a retrospective chart review, 14 with a diagnosis of MRV and 25 with migraine headache. The patients were treated with a custom-designed physical therapy e-ercise program for a mean of 4.9 visits over a mean duration of 4 months. Patients completed the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), and the Dynamic Gait Inde- (DGI), reported the number of falls they had e-perienced in the past 4 weeks, and rated the severity of their dizziness on an analogue scale of 0 to 100 at initial evaluation and at discharge.

Results Significant differences were seen before and after therapy in each of the outcome measures used. The average decrease in DHI score was 12 points (P < .01). ABC scores increased an average of 14 points (P < .01). Subjects increased their DGI scores an average of 4 points (P < .01). The number of patients reporting more than one fall decreased by 78% at discharge. (P < .05). Baseline symptoms of dizziness decreased an average of 11 points (P < .05).

Conclusions Patients with MRV and migraine headache demonstrated improvement in physical performance measures and self-perceived abilities after vestibular physical therapy.

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