Dizziness and Balance Problems

Vestibular dysfunction is one of the top complaints that patients report after a concussion/mTBI. There are several possible causes for dizziness, and it must be assessed appropriately to rule out other organic causes such as anxiety and medication side effects.

Injuries to the cranial nerves (vestibulocochlear, optic, and oculomotor nerves) and cerebellum are possible causes that need further evaluation with a specialist based on a neurological exam and on your patient's report from the Dizziness Handicap Inventory questionnaire.

A referral to vestibular rehabilitation or physical therapy, neuro-optometry, and/or neuro-otology may be warranted, especially if symptoms change or get worse. If a patient presents with neck pain or stiffness along with dizziness, this may indicate a neuromuscular injury and would require an evaluation with physiatry, sports medicine or orthopedics, and/or physical therapy. Once the initial evaluation is complete, a service member or veteran may be able to complete therapy from home, but encourage them to stay within their symptom tolerance.

Read this information sheet from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center:

Head Injury and Dizziness DVBIC Symptom Management Sheet

Head Injury and Dizziness DVBIC Symptom Management Sheet

Dizziness is one of the symptoms that you may experience after a concussion/mild traumatic brain injury. There are several possible causes of your dizziness…