Physical Therapy is Ideal for Dizziness & Vertigo
We’ve all had the sensation of being dizzy – as if you can’t focus, can’t see straight, can’t stand upright without swaying or falling. You may even experience “tunnel vision,” where your peripheral vision goes dark for a few seconds.
Dizziness is common and can have many causes, but it is never normal. You should not feel like you must go on living with dizziness. Dizziness, especially in the geriatric population increases the risk of falls and associated injuries. Our goal is always to find the source of dizziness through assessment in the clinic, or referral to another physician if necessary. Early treatment is associated with better outcomes, so do not put off seeking care.
The symptoms of vertigo are different from general dizziness. Those experiencing vertigo have reported feeling as if they are “rocking” or “spinning,” even when they are sitting still. This sensation has also been described as if the world is spinning around you.
Physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo is a common and effective course of treatment. If you’ve been feeling dizzy, or you think you may have some of the symptoms of vertigo, contact Athletic Advantage Physical Therapy office today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physical therapists.
Vertigo: Causes and Symptoms
Vertigo is most commonly caused by an imbalance in the inner ear, also known as the “vestibular system.” Your vestibular system helps you maintain your balance and center of gravity by sending messages to your brain regarding your movement. When this is impaired, the necessary messages become diminished or blocked from your brain, and your movement becomes affected. You may feel as if the world is spinning around you, you can’t focus your vision for prolonged periods of time, or you can’t stand/move properly without feeling like you are going to topple over. Some common causes of vertigo include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This is the most common cause of vertigo. It occurs when the tiny calcium crystals located in your ears break apart and move around to different parts of the ear, where they are not supposed to be. This can cause sudden spinning sensations (vertigo) and inner-ear discomfort.
- Meniere’s disease. This occurs when fluid builds up in your ear(s). This typically includes “ringing” in your ear and sudden waves of intense dizziness that may last for hours. You may also experience momentary hearing losses.
- Vestibular neuritis. This is an inner-ear infection that can cause vertigo.
- Migraines. Migraines can impact your vestibular system, thus causing episodes of vertigo which may be coupled with a sensitivity to light or sound. Vision may also be impaired.
- Vestibular Hypofunction. Often the balance system in your inner ear is not working properly. This may be unilateral or bilateral. The vestibular system must be challenged with activities that reproduce dizziness in order to strengthen the peripheral vestibular system and decrease symptoms.
- Additional causes: Ear infections, medications that harm the inner ear, immune system compromise, and rarely from diabetes or stroke due to lack of blood flow to the inner ear.
Some accompanying symptoms to vertigo may also include:
- Inability to focus or remain alert
- Double vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Arm or leg weakness
- Difficulty seeing or speaking
- Abnormal eye movements
For more details contact Athletic Advantage Physical Therapy at Allen, TX.