PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR VERTIGO

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is often referred to as BPPV.  Benign means non-life threatening, Paroxysmal means it tends to re-occur, Positional refers to head position, and Vertigo is the illusion of spinning. BPPV is the most common cause of inner ear related dizziness.  As well as feeling as though objects are spinning,

Symptoms of BPPV : causes people to feel unbalanced, dizzy and nauseous. This is due to the small organ inside our inner ear, called the vestibular labyrinth. Inside the vestibular labyrinth, there are semicircular canals that contain fluid and hair cells that monitor the movement of our heads.

Overlying these hair cells there are tiny calcium particles or crystals. As we mature, following a head trauma, or sometimes with a diseased ear, these particles tend to break loose. When these crystals get dislodged, they are free to float around and can find themselves in one of the semicircular canals.

When we move our heads, these crystals move as well, which causes an unwanted flow of fluid in the semicircular canal, even after the head has stopped moving. This leads to a false sense that our head and body, or the world around us is spinning.

How it can affect you:

Although not considered life-threatening, BPPV can have a severely debilitating effect on a person’s work and social life. Routine tasks like getting groceries, cleaning, driving, and other simple daily tasks become almost impossible. BPPV also poses a health risk due to an increased risk of falls associated with dizziness and imbalance.

Triggers and Treatment:

Positions that can trigger this are sitting up from bed, lying flat in bed, rolling over in bed, bending the head forward, and extending the head back. The most common and effective treatment for BPPV is known as the canalith repositioning procedure. The procedure consists of several simple and slow maneuvers for positioning your head. The aim is to move the particles from the semicircular canal to another part of the ear where they don’t pose a problem. BPPV usually only requires one to two physical therapy treatment sessions. With these one to two sessions, we will teach you how to prevent recurrences. If BPPV goes untreated it will reoccur.

Vertigo can be dangerous if not treated properly. If you or anyone you know has been experiencing any symptoms mentioned, please don’t hesitate to call us at 516-829-0030.

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