Physical therapists in most practice settings encounter patients complaining of dizziness. This conceptual article presents a systematic approach to examining the patient with dizziness of unknown etiology. Based on a review of medical and physical therapy literature, the author organizes the examination, evaluation, and diagnosis of patients with dizziness using the language and structure contained in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. The article concludes with a presentation of clinical dizziness syndromes linked to clusters of cardiopulmonary, neuromuscular, and musculoskeletal impairments and a description of general guidelines that can be used to determine prognosis and develop viable intervention strategies.
© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.