By Sara Murray, PT
Do you experience dizziness when you sit up or turn your head? Ever feel like the room is spinning? Do you feel nauseous any time you ride in the car? Did you know that these symptoms are not “normal” and that physical therapy can help?
The vestibular system, which is located in your inner ear, is responsible for maintaining equilibrium and balance. Vision and somatosensory feedback also play a role in your balance, but disruptions of these systems do not always cause dizziness. The area of the inner ear where the symptoms of dizziness originate is called the vestibular labyrinth. There are 3 semicircular canals which are responsible for tracking your head during rotational movement. The otoconia (tiny crystals), which are located in a small area outside of the semicircular canals called the utricle, monitor the head’s position during up/down and side/side movement.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common type of vertigo. It is a disorder of the inner ear which results from the detachment of the otoconia in which they move into the semicircular canals. Vertigo symptoms include dizziness, nausea, a loss of balance, and feeling like the room is spinning. Symptoms are typically caused by positional changes, like rolling over in bed or sitting up.
Once diagnosed, BPPV is treated with a technique called canalith repositioning. This technique is meant to elicit your symptoms in an effort to reposition the otoconia, and may cause nausea depending on the severity of your symptoms. This is performed 3 to 6 times per session in an effort to reduce the symptoms present. You will likely feel nauseous for the rest of the day, but will feel better after. BPPV symptoms can typically be cured within a few visits, and are almost always completely resolved.
If you are living with symptoms of vertigo, you don’t have to anymore! Call your physical therapist and schedule an appointment today. Most insurances don’t even require a physician referral for an initial evaluation, and you can be treated for up to 30 days. Vertigo is a very treatable condition, and we at Tulsa Bone & Joint would love to help you to stop feeling dizzy and allow you to move life forward. Give us a call at 918-392-1400 or click here to schedule an appointment!