VERTIGO LIMITING YOUR LIFE? PHYSIO CAN HELP!
- Have you suffered from brief periods of vertigo or know someone who has been affected by vertigo?
- Do you feel unsteady on your feet, dizzy, or does the room spin with certain movements such as rolling over in bed or turning your head leaving you feeling cautious to even move?
You may be suffering from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV. Anyone can suffer from BPPV, however it most commonly affects adults between the ages of 50-70 years. Some research has associated it with previous head injury, inner ear infections, osteoporosis and diabetes. However, most cases happen for no apparent reason! Often patients are navigating life with hesitation and fear because their vertigo causes them to be unsteady and increase their falls risk.
What is BPPV and how can physio help? Lets explore this further.
Understanding The Inner Ear (made easy):
Inside the ear there is a complex system which consists of 3 circular canals filled with fluid and two organs called the utricle and saccule. The utricle and saccule are responsible for our balance system. They contain small calcium crystals. These crystals help us keep our normal orientation and balance sensation during everyday life. The problem is that the crystals can dislodge themselves and end up in the 3 semicircular canals interfering with the balance sensation to the brain, which produces the feeling of dizziness.
Common Signs and Symptoms of BBPV:
Often patients describe brief and repetitive spinning episodes that can be triggered by simple head movements such as looking up/down or rolling over in bed. Other common symptoms may include nausea and vomiting or visual disturbances (nystagmus). Often this results in people limiting their movements or being scared to turn their head too quickly!
Other causes of dizziness:
Remember there can be many other conditions that contribute to dizziness. These can include ear infections, blood pressure changes, viruses, menieres disease and more serious conditions such as stroke. If you suffer from fainting, numbness of the limbs, speaking difficulties or fullness in the ear then we advise you to seek medical advice from your GP.
How do I know what’s causing my dizziness and who can help?
A physiotherapist can diagnose if you have BPPV by knowing the patients history and performing a series of specialised tests, which will evaluate the duration of dizziness and nystagmus that the patient develops during the test. A physiotherapist will determine which inner ear canal is most affected then begin to treat with repositioning manoeuvres that use gravity to guide the crystals into their normal position. Once a physio has treated you, you will be sent home with specific advice and education regarding what you cannot do after your treatment. Don’t suffer from vertigo when you can get help!
Alix is a qualified physiotherapist and part of the Synergy Physio team. She shares a passion for helping patients with their balance and mobility! Watch her short video on vertigo here!
If you’re suffering with intermittent vertigo thats limiting your mobility and your life, seek help! Alix looks forward to helping you.