Fixing Vertigo With a “Turn of the Head”

Annapolis Gen doing balance

What Is Vertigo?
One minute you’re fine, the next minute everything is spinning. It happened recently to a coworker who woke up one morning and found that any little movement sent the room spinning and her stomach lurching. She couldn’t even get out of bed. Have you experienced the symptoms of vertigo?

What Is BPPV and How Is It Related to Vertigo?
Her physician told her she had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a type of dizziness common among older adults, and there is an amazingly easy fix if you see a physical therapist specializing in vestibular therapy BPPV is caused by a problem in the inner ear. It most often occurs in those age 50-plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, and more often in women than in men. It happens when a small piece of calcium crystal inside the ear becomes dislodged and enters the inner ear’s fluid-filled canals, where it disrupts the way your brain keeps you balanced, thus resulting in vertigo?

What Causes Vertigo?
Vertigo can occur out of the blue, as my coworker discovered. A local otolaryngologist stated that the “stickiness” that keeps these crystals in place wears off with age, “like an old Post-it note.” Vertigo also can be triggered by a head injury, even a minor bump, or an ear infection, or sometimes just being tilted back in the dentist’s chair for too long can result in vertigo.

While vertigo is uncomfortable, the biggest danger is an increased risk of falling because you feel so dizzy. The effect can wear off in a few days to weeks, but there is an easy fix. Unfortunately, many patients with BPPV see numerous doctors and go through many unnecessary tests before finding relief. Partly that’s because vertigo and dizziness is actually a complex problem and may be from a number of different causes medications, low blood pressure, as well as a large number of inner ear disorders. Doctors who don’t recognize the condition or who write it off to just part of aging may prescribe medication, like meclizine, which is an ineffective treatment for BPPV and Vertigo,

Treatment For BPPV and Vertigo
The most effective treatment are canalith repositioning maneuvers, the patient’s head is turned while he or she sits and then lies in different positions. It generally takes five minutes or less to get the crystal to float back in place, and it immediately cures vertigo in about 90 percent of people.
To find out more about physical therapy for BPPV or Vertigo check out this blog
Treatment For Vertigo at Aquacare Physical Therapy
Aquacare Physical Therapy has Certified Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapist at each of their locations. Click here to find out more about Vestibular Balance Rehabilitation Therapy (VBRT). These physical therapy specialists are trained by the American Institute of Balance to diagnose BPPV and determine the correct canalith repositioning maneuver to get rid of your symptoms. To schedule a free screening with our vestibular specialists visit our website.

Written by Sal Mancino DPT- Clinical Director at our Lewes location. . Sal received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Florida and has extensive post graduate training in the field of manual orthopedic physical therapy. His integrative assessment and treatment approach have been influenced by the teachings of Cyriax, Maitland, Mulligan and McKenzie. He is a certified vestibular therapist through the American Institute of Balance.

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