Vertigo is a health condition that affects a large number of Americans each year, and while it isn’t a life-threatening condition, it can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. Vertigo can leave you feeling like the room is rotating or spinning, which can make daily tasks difficult and lead to headaches and nausea.
The good news is that physical therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment for vertigo. Not only is it non-invasive and effective, but our therapists can also teach you some techniques to mitigate symptoms if you have a flareup after your sessions. Below, we talk a little bit more about how physical therapy can help treat vertigo.
Treating Vertigo With Physical Therapy
To effectively treat vertigo with physical therapy, we must first understand the root cause. Vertigo and dizziness can be caused by a number of different problems, including inner ear infections, circulatory impairment, spinal issues and nervous system problems, but the most common cause is due to what’s known as BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This involves the dislodging of the small crystals in your ear that are part of the system that monitor your head’s movements and its position relative to gravity. When these crystals move, it can cause your head to become extra sensitive to movements that it wouldn’t normally respond to, and this process makes you feel dizzy.
BPPV doesn’t cause all forms of vertigo, but it is the most common cause, and your physical therapist can test you to determine if you’re dealing with BPPV using what’s known as the Dix-Hallpike Test. It’s a short, non-invasive test that takes minutes and helps to determine if your ear is the source of your vertigo.
If it is, they’ll then work to set you up with some basic manipulation techniques that help to calm the inner ear sensitivity and decrease the intensity of your symptoms. This process is known as vestibular rehabilitation, and in most cases it involves certain stretching exercises like the Epley and Semont maneuvers, which work to shift these crystals out of a problematic location. Most people experience great results in one or two sessions, but what’s nice about these two techniques is that they can be easily learned and performed on your own in the event of a future flare-up. Giving patients the confidence and ability to manage their vertigo on their own helps them regain their independence and calm their fears that their life may be controlled by their vertigo.
Physical Therapy for Dizziness
So if you’re suffering from dizziness, the spins or believe you may have vertigo, let our experience vestibular rehabilitation team perform a quick assessment and walk you through some simple treatment techniques. We’ve helped countless patients put their vertigo in the past, and we can do the same for you. For more information, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations
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