Differential Diagnosis

  • Do your patients complain of dizziness or vertigo when they stand up, turn quickly, maintain a prolonged head position, lie down or roll over in bed?
  • Are your patients experiencing unexplained repeated falls or imbalance?
  • Do they complain of a feeling of fogginess in their brain and difficulty concentrating?
  • Are they suffering with anxiety and depression because no one has been able to discover the cause of their symptoms?

Dr. Kimberley Bell, DPT has created this 2-day innovative course to empower physical therapists and physical therapist assistants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively evaluate and address complaints of dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance.

“THANK YOU so much for your Differential Diagnosis class! I have attended many continuing education courses that I walk away from feeling disappointed and that my time and money were wasted.

During your course, I not only learned new concepts and started to refine my evaluation and treatment skills, but I also left feeling motivated, inspired, and excited to incorporate this into my practice.

I feel you have given me quite a few tools to fill a gap that I know has been present in my patient care, and I can’t wait to continue to refine my skills and learn even more.

I feel you are a great resource and would love to stay in touch.”


-Mikki B., PT

Differential Diagnosis of Dizziness, Vertigo & Dysequilibrium

This course is no longer publicly available and is only offered through private consultation.

If you are a Clinic Owner or Rehab Director, contact us to schedule your private course today. Six participants is minimum and sixteen is maximum.

  • Two-day weekend course with 12 hours of live instruction (a foundational part of Dr. Bell’s comprehensive curriculum, “The Bell Method”)
  • 12 hours total content = 1.2 PT CEU’s earned for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants
  • Course tuition includes a 150+ page innovative photo-enhanced course manual
  • Clinical mentorship and business development consultation with Dr. Bell is available for Rehab Teams who want to launch a new Vestibular, Balance or Fall Prevention program or further develop an existing program.

This 2-day continuing education course is accredited for 1.2 CA PT CEUs for licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

Course content includes a synthesis of:

  • Vestibular rehabilitation assessment and treatment basics  (appropriate for beginners)
  • Basic assessment and treatment for the most common vestibular disorder, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Assessment strategies to differentiate between
    • Lightheadedness or dizziness from medications, chronic medical conditions and cardiac comorbidities
    • Central nervous system causes of vertigo and imbalance
    • Peripheral vestibular system dysfunction contributing to vertigo, imbalance and falls
    • BPPV and other peripheral vestibular disorders
    • Visual system’s role in dysequilibrium, falls and imbalance
    • Cervical mis-alignment or atherosclerosis contributing to dimished brain perfusion
    • Peripheral Neuropathy causing dysequilibrium and falls
  • Treatment strategies for 
    • Motion related symptom resolution
    • Management of symptoms occuring at rest
    • New techniques in balance & postural retraining
    • Identifying patients who require additional Specialist Evaluation
    • Stabilizing the mental & emotional fluctuations common in dizzy patients
    • Nervous system relaxation and stabilization for deep and complete healing
  • Fun, active learning experiences to help with retention of key clinical concepts and to engage auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners

Course Content is Inspired by Dr. Bell’s:

  • Personal experience living with vertigo, seeking out best practices for symptom management to improve her quality of life and caregiving intermittently for her grandparents for over ten years
  • Professional experience: 15 years as a licensed physical therapist, 13 years in home health geriatrics and 10 years as a Vestibular Expert, Vestibular CEU instructor and Professional Mentor
  • Public health experience in her volunteer position as Clinical Leader of the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force since 2008
  • Rich clinical expertise developed through treating and/or consulting on thousands of cases of older adults with dizziness, vertigo, imbalance or unexplained repeated falls

This 2-day course represents a foundational part of the core, comprehensive curriculum The Bell Method, created by Dr. Kimberley Bell, DPT. She recommends that all course participants consider enrolling in “A Fresh Perspective in Geriatric Fall Prevention: Dizziness, Incontinence & Neuropathy” to learn how to perform a detailed assessment and develop a comprehensive treatment plan for geriatric patients with non-vestibular causes of dizziness, imbalance and chronic falls.

Course Schedule

Saturday Schedule (6.5 hours of content)
9:00-9:30 Welcome, Course Objectives and Ground Rules (Lecture)
9:30-10:30 Vestibular Anatomy (Lecture)
10:30-11:00 BPPV (Lecture)
11:00-11:15 First Break
11:15-1:15 BPPV Testing (Lab)
1:15-2:30 Lunch
2:30-4:00 BPPV Treatment and Habituation (Lab)
4:00-4:15 Second Break
4:15-5:15 Oculomotor Exam (Lab)


Sunday Schedule (5.5 hours of content)
9:00-9:15 Quick Review of BPPV Concepts (Lecture)
9:15-10:00 Lower Extremity Assessment and Treatment (Lab)
10:00-11:00 Sensory Integration & Re-weighting (mCTSIB Lab)
11:00-11:15 First Break
11:15-12:15 Five Theories of Vestibular Recovery with Documentation Tips (Lecture)
12:15-1:15 Balance and Postural Training (VOR/VSR Lab)
1:15-2:30 Lunch
2:30-3:30 Customized Habituation Programs (Motion Sensitivity Lab)
3:30-4:00 Balance Strategies (Lab)

This is a beginner level course in vestibular rehabilitation and differential diagnosis of dizziness. Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1. Type of instruction: Lecture, demonstration and lab.

All course participants are responsible to apply the course content appropriately within the scope of practice of their own professional license.

Learning Objectives

The audience will…

  • Understand statistics related to falls in older adults as a public health problem.
  • Determine the differential diagnosis for complaints of dizziness.
  • Demonstrate basic skills in vestibular assessment and treatment.
  • Create a comprehensive treatment plan for older adults with dizziness, vertigo and/or dysequilibrium.
  • Understand the relationship between complaints of dizziness and fall risk.


Ask anyone who has worked with Dr. Bell professionally or studied this content with her and we guarantee that they will highly recommend this course.


This course is guaranteed to increase the depth of the participant’s geriatric and vestibular assessment skills and the realm of what course graduates have to offer every geriatric patient they see moving forward in their physical therapy careers.

“Dr. Bell provides a very warm and interactive learning environment, in which you don’t have to be afraid to ask questions. Her teaching style was very applicable to immediate use in the clinic, and it made sense!

I recommend this course to any PT that feels they could use brushing up on their vestibular assessment and treatment skill set.”


-Michelle Baxter, PT, DPT

Space is limited to 16 participants.

Did you know that complaints of dizziness and vertigo are often multi-factorial, involving the vestibular system about 45-50% of the time? Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV, is the most common vestibular disorder.

  • The prevalence of BPPV increases with age, peaking in the sixth and seventh decades of life.
  • The average person with BPPV sees 4-5 different physicians, undergoes unnecessary diagnostic testing and spends thousands of dollars before arriving at an accurate diagnosis, resulting in delays in care for months to years.
  • Older adults with BPPV have a higher incidence of bony fracture.
  • Older adults can be effectively treated for BPPV with complete resolution.
  • With proper assessment and treatment, BPPV resolves with one treatment about 85-90% of the time.
  • Click here to read Dr. Bell’s 2015 National NewsBrief on this topic.

To read testimonials from physicians, physical therapists, fitness professionals, yoga teachers, patients and caregivers who have worked with Dr. Bell, click here.

Contact us about hosting a private course for your Rehab Team.

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