Is Vertigo Tripping You Up?

vertigo advent pt

Vertigo can be caused by a variety of conditions, but it is typically characterized by a spinning sensation, lightheadedness and dizziness. You may even experience double vision with it. It can be due to migraines, inner ear infections, head injuries, tumors and stroke. However, most vertigo involves a problem with the vestibular system- the inner ear.  One of the most common types of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which is an inner-ear problem.

Physical Therapy and Vertigo

Physical therapy is an effective treatment for vertigo. A physical therapist will perform tests to determine its cause. You’ll also be asked how long vertigo lasts, when it first started, if you have nausea with the spinning and what you’re doing when you experience vertigo. The goal of a physical therapist is to eliminate the symptoms of vertigo and get you moving again. Physical therapy for vertigo can take many forms. You may be given exercises to improve your ability to focus your eyes, help the brain correct differences with the inner ear and to improve balance. You may even be prescribed exercises to improve overall flexibility, physical health and overall well-being.

When seeking a physical therapist for vertigo, it’s best to find one who is experienced in treating folks with neurological issues. Some physical therapists focus on neurological vestibular rehab. These professionals have advanced knowledge, skills and experience that can effectively help your condition.

BPPV and Physical Therapy

To help relieve BBPV, a physical therapist will often treat you with a series of movements called the canalith repositioning procedure. It’s a specific type of vestibular rehab therapy. It’s also referred to as the Epley maneuver and entails trunk and patterned head movements to move the displaced otoliths in the inner ear. Other types of maneuvers include the Brandt-Daroff and Semont Maneuvers. All three treatments are highly effective with an 80 percent success rate. Home exercises are also an important part of treatment for vertigo. Your physical therapists will give you specific home exercises to do on a daily basis.

Sometimes, the use of medication is used in conjunction with physical therapy for vertigo. It really depends on whether or not your dysfunction is in an acute or chronic phase. Your physician may recommend Dramamine or Zovirax. A physical therapist may recommend the use of a soft collar to limit your range of motion of your head until vertigo subsides. Either way, your physical therapist will work closely with your treating physician.