Dizziness and Vertigo
Did you know that physical therapy can help with your dizziness and vertigo symptoms?
Each of us uses three main systems that maintain balance as we move through the world. These three systems are the visual system (our eyes), the somatosensory system (our joints and the feedback we get from pressure, touch, vibration, etc.), and the vestibular system (more on that below).
The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and detects linear and rotational movement. Linear movement is when you’re going forward in a car or up and down in an elevator. Rotational movement is when you’re turning your head in a crowd to look for your friends, or looking up at a high shelf to get something in your kitchen. Whatever you’re doing throughout the day, your vestibular system is activated!
When you have an injury to this system, your sense of equilibrium (and balance) is affected. It can also cause symptoms such as vertigo (spinning), dizziness, and unsteadiness or loss of balance. That’s where physical therapy can play a role. During your initial visit your therapist will perform a comprehensive evaluation integrating a combination of interview questions and hands-on examination techniques. Your PT will look at common causes of dizziness, screen for red flags, and work with you to implement an appropriate treatment plan.
Some common causes of dizziness include:
- BPPV or positional vertigo (you may have heard of people who have had crystals in their ears, this is the type of dizziness they have experienced. You may feel off and like you’re spinning.)
- Vestibular hypofunction (one of your ear’s vestibular systems is functioning better than the other. You may feel unsteady or like you’re on a boat.)
- Concussion (people who fall and hit their head often complain of dizziness and trouble with their balance. You also may feel foggy and lightheaded.)
If you are experiencing dizziness then a PT evaluation may be right for you!