Are You Dizzy and You Don’t Know Why?

Aug 03, 2020

The vestibular symptom is a sensory system that tell us if we are moving, where our head is positioned and gives us spatial orientation. This is important for us to keep our balance and posture, particularly while we are moving. The vestibular system is comprised of fluid filled canals and organs in our inner ear. Crystals located in the inner ear, which are normally held in place, may become loose and dislodged into one of the canals. When there is a change in fluid density or change in the flow of the fluid within the canals, we will experience things like dizziness, nausea and unsteadiness with head movement in a particular direction. You will often hear the term vertigo to describe this sensation.

Common causes of vertigo:

  • Head injury
  • Prolonged periods lying down or with head extended (illness, dental appointment, hair appointment)
  • Medication
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Cervicogenic; neck pain, headaches
  • Osteoporosis, osteopenia

Is it vertigo or disequilibrium?

Vertigo: “sensation of whirling or movement that results in an error message in the central process of position, space and time.” It involves eye movement, feeling of spinning or circular movement and caused by the displacement of an otolith (crystal).

Disequilibrium: unsteadiness, imbalance, or loss of equilibrium often with disorientation. Often described as “feeling like I’m on a boat.”Caused by the body’s inability to reflexively right oneself under the head.

What is a Certified Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist?

A certified practitioner with training to treat those with vestibular hypofunction, peripheral vestibular issues and post-concussion pathology. Vestibular treatment helps patients to manage and overcome dizziness, imbalance and other vestibular pathologies.

What is Vestibular therapy?

Your physical therapist will perform an extensive evaluation to determine the cause of your dizziness. Based on that evaluation she will provide canal repositioning interventions to resolve vertigo and provide treatment to improve vestibular function. Therapeutic activities may involve balance activities, visual acuity drills and positioning.

If you or someone you know is suffering from vertigo, dizziness or general unsteadiness contact us here at Arvada Sport and Spine to set up an evaluation with me.

YouTube Video can be see here.

Erin M Miller, PT, DPT, Cert. VRS

Category: Physical Therapy