Vertigo and Dizziness

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Vertigo and Dizziness

Have you ever been told that you have vertigo? 

What many people don’t realise is that vertigo is not a diagnosis but a symptom. This symptom may be a result of a problem with our eyes (visual system), inner ear (vestibular system), or our central nervous system (the brain). Unfortunately, many are told that they must live with it and are prescribed medication for management. A thorough examination by a doctor or Physiotherapist with a special interest in vestibular disorders should be used to help determine the cause of one’s dizziness. 

 

When should I seek a physiotherapist?

If you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Vertigo (room-spinning, head-spinning, self-motion)
  • Dizziness (light-headed, faint-like sensations, distorted sense of motion)
  • Imbalance (unsteady, loss of balance)
  • Tinnitus (“ringing” in ears)
  • Aural Fullness (feeling of ears blocked)
  • Hearing Loss
  • Headaches/Migraines

 

Vestibular physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

If your dizziness is stemming from a problem in the inner ear (vestibular system), a physiotherapist can help you with treatment and rehabilitation. Common conditions include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), neuritis, labyrinthitis, Meniere’s disease, and vestibular migraines. Depending on the type of condition, treatment can vary widely to manage the underlying cause. 

 

Common Conditions

One of the most common vestibular conditions that physiotherapists manage is BPPV, which accounts for ~17-42% of all patients with vertigo (Chen et al., 2020). This condition is caused when a displaced calcium carbonate crystal causes increased stimulation of a semicircular canal (see below), resulting in brief room-spinning vertigo sensations with position changes. Treatment of BPPV involves a thorough assessment to determine the specific canal involvement, and repositioning techniques to reset the crystals. 



If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, call us to book an appointment with our Physiotherapist for a thorough assessment and management plan. 

 

References:

  1. Chen, J., Zhao, W., Yue, X., & Zhang, P. (2020). Risk Factors for the Occurrence of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in neurology, 11, 506. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00506