Vertigo & BPPV: Your Guide
Are you feeling off-balance, dizzy, or experiencing a spinning sensation? You might be dealing with vertigo, a common condition that can disrupt your daily life. At PhysioFlex, we’re here to shed light on vertigo and its primary form, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Let’s delve into the world of vertigo, explore its causes, symptoms, and learn how PhysioFlex can help you find equilibrium.
Understanding Vertigo: What is it?
Vertigo isn’t just a simple case of feeling dizzy; it’s a specific type of dizziness where you or your surroundings seem to be spinning or moving. Especially if you are changing position. It’s often caused by problems in the inner ear or the vestibular system, which plays a crucial role in maintaining your balance. Most importantly, your physiotherapist needs to first determine whats causing the dizziness.
Vertigo Symptoms: When the World Spins
The hallmark of vertigo is the sensation that the world around you is spinning, even when you’re not moving. Vertigo symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sweating, and difficulty focusing are common companions of this unsettling experience.
Vertigo can significantly impact your quality of life, making even simple tasks a challenge. Driving, working, or even enjoying your favourite activities can become difficult, leading to frustration and anxiety.
What is the Cause of Vertigo or BPPV?
On assessment, your physiotherapist will decide if there is a central cause (rarely) like a stroke or multiple sclerosis. However, more often than not it is caused peripherally in the semicircular ear canals and Physiotherapy can be very helpful. They will use a Dix-HallPike Test to determine this (as shown in the video below). BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, emerges when minuscule calcium crystals (called otoconia) in the inner ear become displaced from their normal location on the utricle (a sensory organ in the ear), disrupting the normal fluid flow. This fluid in the semicircular canals senses the rotation, movement and position of the head and body in space. If this otoconia (crystals) float into one of these canals, usually the posterior canal, then this is when the vertigo will start.
- The patient will move the head (usually up and down) like changing position and getting up from bed.
- The otoconia or crystals will then move to the lowest part of the canals
- This causes fluid to flow within the canals.
- This stimulates the balance 8th cranial nerve causing vertigo and what the Physiotherapists look out for- a nystagmus, which is the eyes moving around. From the direction of the nystagmus, a physiotherapist can then identidentify which canal is affected and which exercise will be best for you.
Various factors can lead to vertigo. Inner ear infections, head injuries, or conditions like Meniere’s disease are potential culprits. BPPV, often resulting from head trauma is one of the primary causes of vertigo and prevalence does in crease with age.
How Can PhysioFlex Help?
We specialise in assessing whether or not your dizziness and vertigo is a result of BPPV with the Dix-HallPike manoeuvre. From there our skilled team of physiotherapists understand the intricacies of vertigo and employ a tailored approach to provide relief. Through specialised exercises and techniques, we aim to restore your balance and reduce the frequency and intensity of your episodes. You can find more about our specific treatment here.
Ready to take the first step towards a balanced life? Contact us at PhysioFlex to schedule a consultation and embark on a personalised treatment plan that addresses your vertigo and puts you back in control.