Patients who often experience dizziness or vertigo need to seek medical attention. Dizziness can result from a simple change in medication, or an incorrect prescription of glasses. It could also be caused by a more serious condition such as a neurological disorder.
Vertigo can be described as a feeling of spinning, rocking, moving or turning even though someone is still. Vertigo symptoms can be aggravated by movement of the head and body. Vertigo can last from hours to days before subsiding.
Where do dizziness and vertigo come from?
You may experience dizziness or vertigo independently or together. Both are caused by similar problems in your inner ear, and your vision-tracking system. The cause of dizziness is a “disconnect”, which occurs between your vision tracking systems and your joints or muscles. If the tiny crystals in your inner ear are dislodged, vertigo can occur. You may experience extreme disorientation if you move your head.
It is not always clear what causes inner ear disturbances that can cause dizziness and vertigo. The most common cause of inner ear disturbances causing dizziness or vertigo is a head injury.
What are the main symptoms?
Nearly everyone has experienced dizziness. You feel disorientated, and you may not be able to think clearly or stay upright. All of these symptoms are common in vertigo, along with the additional challenge of feeling like you’re being spun or shaken. These sensations can make it difficult to move even slightly, let alone drive, or do routine tasks.
When something changes your spatial orientation, you can experience dizziness. Spatial orientation refers to the way your brain calculates your body’s position relative to its surroundings. You may feel lightheaded or woozy when this happens. It’s possible to feel unsteady or lose your sense of balance.
Your sense of balance is based on the relationship between your brain (central nervous system) and your sensory system. Your sensory system includes:
- Your vestibular maze in your inner ear. This includes your semicircular channels (loops), that respond to your head turning, and your otolith organs which react to gravity and motion.
- Your vision – Your eyes send brain impulses to show you where you are relative to other objects.
- Your skin and joints: Your body’s movements put pressure on your tissues. Your brain receives signals from your tissues, which tell it where your body lies in space. If you stand up straight and lean back, your tissues will put pressure on the tissues at the back of your lower leg and foot. This pressure signals your brain that you are leaning rather than standing straight.
What can I expect?
You will first receive an evaluation. Because dizziness or vertigo can hinder people in many ways, it is important to identify the exact cause.
Our highly skilled team of physical therapists will assess a variety of factors including balance, reflexes and habits of movement. We can then create a customized treatment plan for each of you.
Many patients find relief with specialized head movements in a matter of minutes. These gentle adjustments can be used to either dislodge crystals if the problem is vertigo or to reorient your senses if you have general dizziness. The problem can be resolved in as little as one or two sessions.
Your treatment plan may include balance and coordination exercises if you require additional treatment. This training will increase your confidence in your ability to move without falling, stumbling or being thrown. It will also decrease the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness. The therapy will also teach you how to maintain your ability, which reduces the chance of injury in the event of future vertigo and dizziness episodes.
Our certified physical therapists are trained in balance analysis and movement. Call us today to schedule a complimentary balance and fall prevention screening.
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