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Persistent dizziness and balance deficits are common, often with unknown etiology. Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (3PD) is a relatively new diagnosis with symptoms that may include dizziness, unsteadiness, or non-vertiginous dizziness and be persistent the majority of time over a minimum of 90 days. The purpose of this case series was to investigate short-term outcomes of reducing dizziness symptoms using a manual therapy intervention focused on restoring mobility in the fascia using a pragmatically applied biomechanical approach, the Fascial Manipulation® method (FM®), in patients with 3PD. The preliminary prospective case series consisted of twelve (n = 12) patients with persistent complaints of dizziness who received systematic application of manual therapy to improve fascial mobility after previously receiving vestibular rehabilitation. The manual therapy consisted of strategic assessment and palpation based on the model proposed in the FM® Stecco Method. This model utilizes tangential oscillations directed toward the deep fascia at strategic points. Six males (n = 6) and females (n = 6) were included with a mean age of 68.3 ± 19.3 years. The average number of interventions was 4.5 ± 0.5. Nonparametric paired sample t-tests were performed. Significant improvements were observed toward the resolution of symptoms and improved outcomes. The metrics included the Dizziness Handicap Inventory and static and dynamic balance measures. The Dizziness Handicap Inventory scores decreased (i.e., improved) by 43.6 points (z = −3.1 and p = 0.002). The timed up and go scores decreased (i.e., improved) by 3.2 s (z = −2.8 and p = 0.005). The tandem left increased (i.e., improved) by 8.7 s (z = 2.8 and p = 0.005) and the tandem right increased (i.e., improved) by 7.5 s (z = 2.8 and p = 0.005). Four to five manual therapy treatment sessions appear to be effective for short-term improvements in dizziness complaints and balance in those with 3PD. These results should be interpreted with caution as future research using rigorous methods and a control group must be conducted.


This article was originally published in Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, volume 9, in 2024.

Open access for this article was funded by a Chapman University Supporting Open Access Research and Scholarship (SOARS) award.

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