Vertigo | Effectiveness of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) and Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) in Individuals With Vertigo

Vertigo research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Western University of Health Sciences is seeking men and women to participate in a study on the effectiveness of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) and Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) in patients with vertigo. The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of OMT in the treatment of individuals with vertigo, alone and in combination with Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). Because of the health care costs associated with vertigo, the cost effectiveness of OMT and VRT will also be examined.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Symptoms of dizziness or a diagnosis of vertigo for longer than 3 months duration - Able to tolerate 30 minutes of sitting and standing - Able to transfer from sitting to standing and move independently - Able tolerate manual therapy and exercise Exclusion Criteria: - Severe traumatic injury - Bleeding disorders and anticoagulation (Coumadin) therapy - Currently receiving VRT, vision therapy, or manual medicine (OMT, Chiropractic, etc.) or received manual medicine within the past three months - Down syndrome - Ehlers-Danlos syndrome - Endolymphatic Hydrops - Legal blindness in one or both eyes - Menieres disease - Neurological conditions (including Peripheral Neuropathy, Stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral aneurysm, and Multiple Sclerosis) - Rheumatoid Arthritis - Spinal trauma or history of cervical spine surgery

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?



Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo


Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Other:Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)Direct action OMT procedures, including HVLA, involve the application of a force in the direction of restricted joint motion in order to resolve somatic dysfunction. Indirect techniques, including counterstrain, balanced ligamentous tension and myofascial release, entail applying a force away from the restrictive barrier of a joint or soft tissue structure.

Other:Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)Participants categorized as having a peripheral motion hypersensitivity will receive habituation exercises that reproduce the provocative motion, seated and standing balance exercises with gaze stabilization, kinesthetic and proprioceptive retraining. Participants will be given a monthly exercise log at onset and will be asked to report exercise levels at subsequent follow up periods.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

OMT GroupParticipants will receive Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) with the objective of treating diagnosed somatic dysfunction and this will entail the use of specific indirect and direct techniques, including soft tissue, inhibitory, myofascial release, articulatory and high-velocity / low-amplitude (HVLA) techniques.

VRT GroupParticipants will receive Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT), which includes balance exercises in sitting and standing positions that include gaze stabilization, kinesthetic and proprioceptive retraining.

OMT - VRT GroupParticipants will receive both Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) and Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT).

Control Group

Study Status


Start Date: January 2012

Completed Date: August 2014

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Change from Baseline in Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) at 1 week

Secondary Outcome: Change from Baseline in Neuro-Optometric Evaluation at 1 week

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Marcel Fraix, DO

Lead Sponsor: Western University of Health Sciences


More information:

Fraix M. Osteopathic manipulative treatment and vertigo: a pilot study. PM R. 2010 Jul;2(7):612-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.04.001.

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