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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Sport Sciences

First Advisor

Mark VanNess

First Committee Member

Emily Enescu

Second Committee Member

Courtney Jensen


The vestibular system of the human body is responsible for gait control and spatial orientation. Like all human organs, the vestibular system can deteriorate through sickness or aging. Vestibular rehabilitation is aimed at reducing dizziness and imbalance through physical therapy. Patients compensate for their vestibular loss by using visual or proprioceptive cues from their physical therapy. A traditional vestibular rehabilitation protocol includes habituation and adaptation exercises. This observational case study will explore the effectiveness of incorporating lower extremity exercises into a vestibular protocol. The control group consisted of 23 members all diagnosed with a vestibular disorder. The treatment patient was a 72-year-old woman. After 8 visits of physical therapy, the treatment patient made an objective and subjective clinical improvement. She improved on every objective examination and reported her symptom severity as completely absent. She attributes her musculoskeletal exercise as the main factor in her imbalance improvement. The success of this case study bodes well for further research. This study was to explore and provide insight on a new method in treating vestibular disorders. A new exploration can begin on how we can incorporate lower extremity exercises into more vestibular programs.





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