Vertigo and Dizziness Program
Vertigo is the sensation of spinning dizziness and an illusion of movement, which can be caused by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis, car accidents, falls and other medical conditions. Some patients do not experience spinning vertigo, but they describe their symptoms as imbalance, lightheadedness, jumping or blurred vision.
Dizziness and vertigo are often caused by problems in the complex region of the inner ear, also called the vestibular system. Many people are unaware that you can attend physical therapy for reduction of these symptoms, but in fact, some studies have proven physical therapy to be more effective than medication in treatment for this condition.
You may be referred to outpatient physical therapy for vestibular rehabilitation by your family physician, an ENT or neurologist. At the initial evaluation, your therapist will perform a thorough history of your symptoms, including the onset of symptoms, aggravating positions or factors, previous treatment and severity of symptoms.
The evaluation will also include an assessment of your gait, balance, visual tracking and eye reflexes (due to the close relationship between the inner ear and eye reflexes), cervical range of motion, and tolerance for various positions. If it is found that you have BPPV, a maneuver will be performed to relocate the loose calcium crystals within your inner ear. Otherwise, your treatment program will be established to address your individual deficits. This may include cervical exercises, visual exercises, compensation exercises, habituation exercises and extensive education on your condition.