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Front Neurol. 2017 Apr 3;8:124. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00124. eCollection 2017.

Is the Headache in Patients with Vestibular Migraine Attenuated by Vestibular Rehabilitation?

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Unit of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan.
Department of Otolaryngology, National Hospital Organization Tokyo Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan.



Vestibular rehabilitation is the most effective treatment for dizziness due to vestibular dysfunction. Given the biological relationship between vestibular symptoms and headache, headache in patients with vestibular migraine (VM) could be improved by vestibular rehabilitation that leads to the improvement of dizziness. This study aimed to compare the effects of vestibular rehabilitation on headache and other outcomes relating to dizziness, and the psychological factors in patients with VM patients, patients with dizziness and tension-type headache, and patients without headache.


Our participants included 251 patients with dizziness comprising 28 patients with VM, 79 patients with tension-type headache, and 144 patients without headache. Participants were hospitalized for 5 days and taught to conduct a vestibular rehabilitation program. They were assessed using the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), Headache Impact Test (HIT-6), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Somatosensory Catastrophizing Scale (SSCS) and underwent center of gravity fluctuation measurement as an objective dizziness severity index before, 1 month after, and 4 months after their hospitalization.


The VM and tension-type headache groups demonstrated a significant improvement in the HIT-6 score with improvement of the DHI, HADS, SSCS, and a part of the objective dizziness index that also shown in patients without headache following vestibular rehabilitation. The change in HIT-6 during rehabilitation in the VM group was positively correlated with changes in the DHI and anxiety in the HADS. Changes in the HIT-6 in tension-type headache group positively correlated with changes in anxiety and SSCS.


Vestibular rehabilitation contributed to improvement of headache both in patients with VM and patients with dizziness and tension-type headache, in addition to improvement of dizziness and psychological factors. Improvement in dizziness following vestibular rehabilitation could be associated with the improvement of headache more prominently in VM compared with comorbid tension-type headache.


dizziness handicap; headache impact; migraine disorders; rehabilitation; treatment; vestibular diseases; vestibular rehabilitation

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