‘Do you feel dizzy or unsteady?’

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these processing areas, vestibular disorders can result.

Vestibular Physiotherapy is used to treat vertigo or dizziness and other balance disorders. Often people with a vestibular disorder experience vertigo or a spinning sensation. Other symptoms include impaired balance and unsteadiness, blurred visions and migraine-like headaches. These symptoms can be more pronounced with quick head movements or certain activities such as rolling over in bed.

When your vestibular system is not working as it should, the brain receives incorrect information about where your body is in space. These incorrect messages cause the dizziness, blurred vision, and the feeling of unsteadiness or spinning. With specific exercises that target input from the inner ear, the brain will adapt. These adaptions will resolve dizziness and improve your balance.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common vestibular presentation to physiotherapy. It presents with intense, brief episodes of dizziness often lasting between a couple seconds and up to a minute. This dizziness is triggered with quick head movements, and settles if you keep your head still. BPPV is thought to be caused by little calcium carbonate crystals located in the middle ear becoming dislodged and travelling around the canals. Quick movement results with the fluid in the canals pushing the crystals onto nerve fibres which sets you into a spin. BPPV can occur after a cold/flu, head trauma, however it often spontaneously occurs. BPPV is linked with aging, as 70% of people over 70 suffer from the condition at least once in their life. The treatment for BPPV involves a specific series of head movements to reposition the crystals. It is very simple with extremely successful results, often curing the dizziness in the first 24 hours.

Book a vestibular appointment at Back on Track Physiotherapy today to determine how vestibular physiotherapy can help you.