A vestibular migraine is a type of migraine that can cause both vestibular and migraine symptoms. A typical migraine will cause a severe headache due to stimulation of nerves, blood vessels, and pain receptors in the brain. They can be caused by a variety of triggers such as food, stress, hormones, medication, and sleep disturbances. That being said, not all migraines have to involve a headache.
Vestibular migraines are actually very common. According to recent evidence, 1% of the world's population will get a vestibular migraine. That's 74 million people! This condition will often cause symptoms that mimic an inner ear dysfunction. Symptoms of vestibular migraine include dizziness, motion intolerance, loss of balance, headache, symptoms of vertigo, sound sensitivity, light sensitivity, and neck pain. So you may think something else is going on, when in reality it's a migraine causing your symptoms.
Treatment for a vestibular migraine can involve multiple sources. Of course, physical therapy and vestibular rehabilitation has been proven to be an effective method of treatment. This will involve balance exercises, ocular (eye) exercises, and conditioning/endurance exercises. Specifically, physical therapists will provide eye exercises to work on gaze stability and visual tracking, Along with physical therapy, both medication prescription and diet changes can help prevent, improve, and manage symptoms and help you return to full function.
If you are having any of these vestibular symptoms or have had recurrent symptoms in the past, please feel free to reach out to your physician or contact any one of our Strive locations!
Matt began his education at Rutgers University in New Brunswick by completing his undergraduate degree in exercise science in 2012. He then continued his academic career at Drexel University in Philadelphia where he received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2015. During his last year of graduate school, Matt completed his final clinical affiliation at the Strive Burlington clinic where he continued to pursue his passion for outpatient orthopedics and sports-related care. Matt loves sports and enjoys working with athletes in particular. He is very excited to begin his career with Strive Delran. In the near future, he plans on expanding his skill set by becoming certified in both dry needling and the McKenzie method.