How to Get Relief From Vertigo and Dizziness
Around and around and around and around and around…Do you remember spinning yourself around as a child, purposefully trying to create that feeling of a spinning room? Fortunately, this “fun” self-induced room spinning only lasts for a few brief seconds and then disappears. Many people, however, feel this type of dizziness chronically. Without any known triggers, this dizziness can occur spontaneously and last for hours, or even days.
Vertigo and dizziness is actually not a true diagnosis, but is a symptom of a problem in your Vestibular System – the part of your inner ear or brain that controls your balance and eye movement. You may feel a sense that you or your environment is moving or spinning, even though it isn’t. You might feel lightheaded, or like you are floating or rocking. Some people feel as though they are heavy or are being pulled in one direction. Many problems of the Vestibular System are caused by injury, disease, your environment or may be genetic.
Some of the most common problems of the
Vestibular System which may cause symptoms
of vertigo and/or dizziness are:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Labyrinthitis or Vestibular neuritis
How can We-Fix-U Help?
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)
Patients who come to us for help include those of you who have an acute or abrupt problem following surgery or early onset of a problem of your vestibular system, or those of you who have suffered symptoms for long periods of time. Many of you have had unsuccessful medical treatment in the past.
Our custom designed Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy Program is an exercise-based program designed to promote central nervous system compensation for inner ear deficits.
Why Do You Need Our Help?
When your vestibular system is damaged due to disease or injury, your brain can no longer get accurate information about balance and motion, often resulting in dizziness, vertigo, balance problems, and other symptoms. Many people are able to recover from these symptoms on their own after a few weeks of normal activity because your brain has adapted with a process called vestibular compensation. However, if the vestibular compensation process is not successful, your ability to maintain posture and coordinate balance may become overly dependent on input from your eyes, muscles and joints. In addition, you may develop new patterns of head and body movement in an attempt to avoid dizziness and nausea. Unfortunately these mechanisms may cause a worsening of your symptoms. The goal of our Program is to retrain your brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system in coordination with vision and proprioception. This often involves desensitizing your balance system to movements that provoke symptoms.
Your Physiotherapist will first perform a thorough evaluation that begins with a medical history and includes observing and measuring posture, balance and gait, and compensatory strategies. The assessment may also include eye-head coordination tests that measure how well your eyes track a moving object with or without head movement. Other assessments may be used, such as a questionnaire measuring your frequency and severity of symptoms and associated lifestyle changes. Using the evaluation results, your Physiotherapist will develop a customized treatment plan that includes specific head, body, and eye exercises to be performed both in our clinic and at home. These exercises are designed to retrain your brain to recognize and process signals from your vestibular system and coordinate them with information from vision and proprioception.
What Are the Affects of Treatment and Does it Help?
Some of the exercises and activities may at first cause an increase in your symptoms as your body and brain attempt to sort out the new pattern of movements. Because of this, people sometimes give up on VRT, thinking it is making their vestibular disorder worse. However, in most cases your will balance will improve over time if you do your exercises correctly and faithfully. Muscle tension, headaches, and fatigue will diminish, and symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, and nausea will decrease or disappear. Many times, VRT is so successful that no other treatment is required.