Where does vertigo and dizziness come from?
Whether you experience them independently or at the same time, dizziness and vertigo both stem from similar issues involving your inner ear and your vision tracking systems. Dizziness stems from a “disconnect” between these systems and your joints and muscles. Vertigo is believed to happen if the tiny crystals that are located in your inner ear become dislodged. This displacement leads to bouts of extreme disorientation when you move your head.
The causes of the inner ear disruptions resulting in dizziness or vertigo aren’t always known. Sometimes a head injury is the obvious culprit, while other times migraines, prolonged periods of lying down or even medication may result in the conditions.
What are the main symptoms?
Almost everyone has experienced dizziness at some point. It’s a feeling of disorientation, combined with not being sure you can stay upright or think clearly. Vertigo tends to have all of those symptoms, with the added challenges of feeling as if you’re being spun around, or even shaken. Both sensations make it extremely difficult to even move slightly, let alone drive or perform routine tasks.
How does vestibular therapy help?
Vestibular therapy is a kind of physical therapy that is geared specifically to inner ear disorders. First, you’ll receive a complete evaluation. After all, dizziness and vertigo can impede people in many different ways, so it’s important to determine exactly how the problem is affecting your balance and movement.
Our highly trained team will evaluate a number of factors, including reflexes, balance, leg strength and overall habits of movement. This allows us to put together an individualized treatment plan for you.
In many cases, patients receive instant relief from specialized head movements while lying down. These gentle adjustments are designed to dislodge crystals, when the problem is vertigo, or simply re-orient your senses, as with general dizziness. Two or four sessions can often resolve the problem.
If additional treatment is needed, coordination and balance exercises will be part of your vestibular therapy. This training is devised to give you confidence in your ability to move without falling or stumbling, while also decreasing the symptoms of the vertigo or dizziness. In addition, the therapy will teach you how to maintain this ability on your own, which diminishes the risk of injury if future bouts of vertigo or dizziness occur.
Our expert physical therapists have years of training in vertigo and vestibular dysfunction.