What is vertigo and can physical therapy help?

What Is Vertigo and Can Physical Therapy Help?

Vertigo is a medical term for dizziness. It is the feeling of rocking, spinning or moving even though you are completely still. It can last for seconds, hours or even days. Additional symptoms include a feeling of tilting, swaying or being pulled in one direction. A headache, ringing in the ears, sweating, and abnormal jerky eye movements may accompany nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. Movement may make the symptoms worse. Vertigo puts you at risk for falling; find a stationary place, sit or lie down if you can. 

Physical therapy for vertigo may often be resolved in only one visit. If your vertigo is due to loose crystals in the inner ear, known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), it may be resolved in one or two visits, though you may want to continue for balance training. The Epley maneuver uses specific head and eye movements to identify BPPV and then move the crystals in the inner ear. 

What causes vertigo?

Vertigo is typically caused by an inner ear problem. While BPPV is a common cause, there are others, such as:

  • Inner ear infections
  • Medication side effects
  • Alcohol
  • Injuries to the head or neck
  • Central nervous system issues such as a stroke or tumor
  • Cervical spine disorders such as degenerative disc disease
  • Vascular cognitive impairment 
  • Meniere’s disease 
  • Vestibular neuritis

Physical therapy for vertigo

Physical therapy for vertigo is called vestibular therapy. The vestibular system is the part of you that sends signals to your brain about your head and body movements regarding gravity. This type of physical therapy works to strengthen the vestibular system as well as train other senses to compensate for the vertigo. Our specialists work with you, identifying the cause of your vertigo and creating an individualized treatment plan to help your world stop spinning. 

Find help for vertigo at Continuum Wellness

Are you suffering from vertigo, or would you like more information? Contact our team to set up a one-on-one consultation and full evaluation of your symptoms.