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An Introduction to Vestibular Rehabilitation

Course Description

This course focuses on providing an excellent framework for the clinician to effectively treat vestibular disorders. Like all of our courses, this vestibular course focuses on teaching clinicians to actually treat disorders in this rapidly expanding area. One of the strengths of this course is that it applies to clinicians without any vestibular experience, providing ample tools to treat vestibular disorders, while still maintaining the interest and expanding the capabilities of clinicians more experienced in the field of Vestibular Rehabilitation. BPPV is covered at great length in this course.​


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Vestibular Schedule

Course Objectives

At the completion of this seminar, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe six key components of the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system
  • Discriminate between ten common pathophysiologic conditions of the vestibular system
  • Complete a thorough interview of a patient and hypothesize three potential diagnoses using five key questions outlined in the manual
  • Hypothesize the differential diagnosis of a mock patient who presents with vertigo versus dizziness
  • Complete a thorough examination of a patient, and compare three subjective complaints to the objective findings
  • Identify eight standardized assessment tools for use with patients with a vestibular disorder
  • Perform three specific tests of vestibular function (VNG, Rotary Chair, and Sensory Organization Testing)
  • Correctly demonstrate the bedside oculomotor exam and interpret the results
  • Distinguish between canalithiasis and cupulolithiasis and accurately locate the involved canal
  • Justify the use of a specific treatment theory (habituation, adaptation, and/or substitution), and design a treatment plan specific to that patient, given a patient's diagnosis and findings through an objective exam
  • Describe two potential psychological manifestations that may occur with prolonged episodes of dizziness

Course Instructors

Laurie Swan


Laurie Swan, PhD, DPT, PT, CEEAA, is a physical therapist with expertise in neurologic therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and fall prevention in the elderly. Laurie graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1991. She practiced neurologic physical therapy in a variety of settings for five years, and then taught neurologic and geriatric physical therapy courses for ten years in Michigan and California. She completed a PhD in Applied Experimental Psychology from Central Michigan University in 2004, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Puget Sound in 2006. More recently, Laurie has gained expertise in marketing and management in the corporate sector by establishing and managing a fall prevention program for the elderly in Pierce County, Washington. In addition, she has worked closely with the Department of Health, State of Washington to disseminate a fall prevention program in the public health sector. Laurie has several publications in peer-reviewed journals. She has presented at national and international conferences, and teaches continuing education courses in fall prevention, balance, and vestibular rehabilitation. Laurie is recognized as a "Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults" through the Geriatrics Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. She received the Award for Clinical Excellence from the Physical Therapy Association of Washington (PTWA) in 2014.

Laurie Swan

Course Outline



Continental Breakfast


Lecture: Anatomy and Physiology of the Vestibular System


Lecture: Diagnosis of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)


Lab: Diagnostic Maneuvers for BPPV


Lunch (on your own)


Lab: Treatment of BPPV


Lecture: Pathophysiology of Common Vestibular Disorders


Lecture: Taking a History


Lab: Oculomotor Exam


Questions and Review





Continental Breakfast


Lab: Review of Day 1


Lab: Speed Drills: Oculomotor Exam and BPPV


Lecture: Quantified Tests of Vestibular Function


Lab: Standardized Assessment Tools


Lab: Psychological Manifestations of Dizziness


Lecture: Treatment Theory


Lunch (on your own)


Lecture: Treatment Intervention


Lab: Case Preparation and Presentations


Lab: Questions, Review and Post-Test



Course PDF

Course Brochure PDF