Health News: Vertigo

Does the room spin when you lay down or try to sit up? Do you get dizzy when watching cars or other fast objects go past you? If so, then Physical Therapy may be able to help fix these issues for you and improve your life!

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Michael Wood, says vertigo is a type of dizziness where you feel like the room is spinning or you are rotating, even when sitting or lying still. A common form of vertigo is called BPPV. This stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and occurs in the part of your inner ear that is responsible for balance. This balance part of your inner ear contains little crystals that sometimes get dislodged and travel into the fluid-filled canals next to them.

These crystals create waves or ripples in the fluid-filled canals, which give you the sensation of moving even when you are sitting still. Once the crystal settles to the bottom of the canal, the sensation goes away and the room stops spinning. This usually takes less than 60 seconds. When you move your head up or back or change from sitting to lying or lying to sitting, the crystal moves again and the sensation comes back.

Doctor Wood says, “Your Physical Therapist can perform certain tests and measures to determine if you do in fact have BPPV. If you do, the Physical Therapist can perform a series of movements with you to help put the crystal back in the right location.” There will be several instructions following your treatment that your Physical Therapist will go over with you to help ensure the crystal stays in the right place. Total treatment to fix BPPV usually takes 1-3 sessions. At that time, your therapist may discharge you or progress you to balance training exercises, if needed.

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