Physical Therapy a Whirl to Resolve Vertigo

Physical Therapy a Whirl to Resolve Vertigo

A recurring case of dizziness and a feeling like the room is spinning can be due to a number of causes. However, one common solution is found in vestibular rehabilitation with a physical therapist. Approximately 40% of people will experience vertigo at some point in their lives. Vertigo is described as feeling lightheaded, unsteady, whirling, spinning, or dizzy.

As a new diagnosis or symptom, vertigo is scary, and often leads people to seek emergency attention. What many don’t realize is that all of these symptoms can easily be treated by a physical therapist. Vertigo is a symptom, not a disease. There are multiple causes for it, but they all fall into four general categories that require different treatments. Once you’re diagnosed, your symptoms can be quickly resolved by our therapists at Pure Physical Therapy who specialize in vestibular rehabilitation.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Accounting for 33 to 55% of vestibular diagnoses, BPPV is the most commonly reported cause of vertigo. BPPV is characterized by brief periods of vertigo, or a room-spinning sensation, when you change the position of your head. It’s due to your head’s position relative to gravity, so it most commonly happens when:

  • You roll over in bed
  • Get in and out of bed
  • Bend over
  • Make quick head movements

The spinning sensation may be accompanied by an overall feeling of fatigue and nausea or vomiting. Studies show that head injuries cause 17% of BPPV cases and nerve damage accounts for 15%, but 50% of cases have no specific reason for the onset of symptoms.

There are three types of BPPV, with the most commonly diagnosed type occurring in the posterior canal. Our physical therapists can help distinguish the cause and the type of BPPV based on your health history and the results of positional testing. Once diagnosed, BPPV can be resolved typically within one to four treatments, with a physical therapist performing the correct maneuvers to help move the crystals out of the ear canal.

Vestibular Hypofunction

Due to inflammation, vertigo can also be caused by a one-sided weakness in your inner ears. This imbalance, known as vestibular hypofunction, causes an eye impairment because the eyes have trouble adapting after head movement. Vestibular hypofunction can also be caused by:

  • Viral or bacterial infections that attack the nerve that connects to your inner ear
  • Weakness in the structures of your inner ear due to aging
  • Toxic reactions to medications
  • Blood clots, tumors or brain injuries that impact the inner ear

With vestibular hypofunction, you might feel dizzy every time you move your head — like your eyes cannot keep up with your head movement. Other symptoms include poor balance, difficulty walking, blurry vision and nausea or vomiting. They may appear suddenly or gradually and can be accompanied by mild, one-sided hearing loss.

A physical therapist can do a full assessment of your visual system, gait and balance. They’ll also perform other activities to relieve symptoms and promote a faster recovery, including gaze exercises to improve the coordination of head and eye movements and balance and gait activities. These forms of vestibular rehabilitation are more effective than medication or general exercises.

Central Vestibular Loss

Brain injuries, tumors and conditions can also cause dizziness. Unlike problems in the inner ear, symptoms usually develop slowly.  Symptoms may differ based on the location of the tumor or problem within the brain.

Central vestibular loss means there is an issue that stems from the brain. It’s caused by multiple sclerosis, neoplasms, traumatic brain injury, vascular disease or stroke. Our physical therapy treatments can help through gaze exercises and balance activities that help relieve the dizziness and vertigo.

Cervicogenic Vertigo

Stress causes a lot of problems, vertigo included. Tightness in the shoulders and neck can bring on dizziness that is usually noticed with head movements or prolonged time in one position. This type of dizziness is accompanied by neck pain and headaches. Physical therapy treatments primarily aim to decrease tightness in the muscles and joints of the spine. Mobility and strength exercises can also help relieve symptoms.

Dizziness doesn’t mean you’re going crazy, or you have a medical emergency. Vestibular rehabilitation is a proven way to treat your vertigo, no matter the type or the cause. If these are issues you’ve been experiencing, visit a physical therapist with expertise in vestibular rehab to stop your head from spinning.

Why It Is Important to See a Physical Therapist for Injuries

If you have ever asked, “is there physical therapy near me?” then you are probably in need of their help. Since injuries can be multifaceted and far-reaching, a physical therapist is your best chance at getting you and your body back to normal. Here are just a few of the benefits of visiting a nearby physical therapist to treat your injuries.

1. Reduce Your Pain

Physical therapy can help reduce the pain of an injury by getting your body back to working order. Many injuries result in soft tissue and joint damage that can be repaired or minimized by visiting a physical therapist near you. When you look for “physical therapy near me,” be sure to discuss your pain. Be honest about the pain’s frequency, intensity, and anything that sets it off. That way, your physical therapist will be able to make the right plan to help relieve you of your pain.

2. Regain Mobility

Physical therapy can help you recover and increase mobility after an injury. Depending on the nature of the injury, it is sometimes even possible to regain full mobility, even in serious injuries. Since treatment focuses on getting your body back into working order, your physical therapist can help give you a better range of motion after your injury. If you have searched for “physical therapy near me,” then be sure to contact a physical therapist that will help you get your mobility back.

3. Prevention or Recovery from Sports Injuries

One of the most common reasons why people search the internet for physical therapy near me is related to sports injuries. These injuries can not only be quite serious, but many of those suffering from sports injuries also want to get back to playing. Physical therapists are experts in helping athletes make speedy recoveries from their sports-related injuries. They can help you recover, reduce your pain, and ensure that you are back in fighting form more quickly after your injury.

4. Avoid Surgery

No one wants to go under the knife. One of the most proven ways to avoid surgery is to type “physical therapy near me” into a search engine and then start your physical therapy. Many successful physical therapy treatments can actually address the reasons for surgery, including pain problems and mobility issues. By doing regular physical therapy, you may not need surgery. And since surgery is expensive, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous, physical therapy is often a safer, better choice. Just be sure to work with your physician to see if physical therapy is a viable alternative to surgery.

By the time you type “is there physical therapy near me?” into a search engine, you are probably in need of one. The right physical therapist can ensure that your injury is healing properly while ensuring that you are getting back to working order. Healing is a long journey, depending on the injury, and the right physical therapist is essential to reducing pain and getting you back to normal.