What is Vertigo Therapy?
Vertigo is the sensation of spinning, rotating, tilting or moving even when being perfectly still. Approximately 35% of American adults over the age of 40 have experience some form of vestibular dysfunction-that is, a failure of the sensory system to provide proper valance and Spatial orientation when coordinating movement. In older populations who are beginning to experience unsteadiness, the common vertigo sensations are often misdiagnosed and chalked up as age-related, and appropriate vertigo treatment is delayed.
Understanding the Vestibular System
The vestibular system is the part of our bodies that tells our brain where we are in space. For example, when we roll over in bed from our back to our side, the vestibular system sends a signal to our brain to communicate this change in position. Normally, we are completely unaware of this body system and most often we do not recognize the importance of the vestibular system until it becomes damaged. When this happens, many people experience what is known as vertigo, or the sensation that you are spinning on the teacup ride while laying or sitting down.
Vertigo is the feeling that you’re moving, when you’re not. It is also described as the feeling that other things are moving when they are not. Vertigo can be caused by an ear infection, disease, or most commonly, it is related to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, otherwise known as BPPV.
Common Vertigo Symptoms
There are two main types of vertigo, Peripheral and Central. Though the causes may be different, the symptoms for each are similar. Common symptoms of vertigo include:
- Ringing in ears
- Rapid involuntary eye movement
- Loss of Balance
Types of Vertigo
Peripheral: This is the more common type that affects the inner ear and includes:
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis, etc.
- Central: This refers to issues affecting the brain causing vertigo including concussions/brain injuries, infections, and stroke
Vertigo Therapy Treatment
SportsCare Physical Therapy sees each patient as an individual with unique needs. Listening to your areas of concern, your physical therapist will discuss your recovery goals, activity level, and general health. You will receive a professional evaluation from your physical therapist who will then develop a personalized treatment program for optimal recovery. Your vertigo therapy treatment plan may include:
Frequently Asked Questions
Most types of vertigo will come on very quickly and they can happen frequently as well as be very intense. The symptoms generally do not last very long while you are at rest, but may return when you start to move again.
Vertigo can be very debilitating, where it does not allow the patient to be able to drive or walk without difficulty. It can also be the sign of other medical diagnosis, so assessment by your therapist or medical provider to determine the best course of treatment is important early on after your symptoms start.
With therapy these symptoms can improve within the first few sessions with BPPV, though other types of vertigo can take months to improve. Along with therapy, treatment may include medications prescribed by your doctor that can also help to decrease the dizziness and other symptoms associated with vertigo.
Around 85% of people recover quickly from BPPV with a simple treatment called the Epley maneuver. The technique involves a series of movements directed by your physical therapist which help move the crystals back to where they belong. Proper diagnosis of vertigo is important as many other health problems may cause bouts of imbalance and dizziness. A thorough evaluation including history and medications will help guide your physical therapist or doctor to a correct diagnosis and treatment plan. Depending on the positioning of the dislodged crystals, relief from vertigo symptoms may be found during your initial visit and therapy is typically concluded after two to three sessions.
Here is a list of the insurance plans accepted by SportsCare Physical Therapy and Armworks Hand Therapy. If you are unsure of your coverage or if your plan is accepted, please contact one of our offices. We are happy to assist you in learning about your benefits.
SportsCare Physical Therapy has offices in Gresham, Sandy, NE Portland, Clackamas, Beaverton. For location specific contact information click here.