The room spins around you. You find it hard to keep your balance. A feeling of nausea overwhelms you. It’s typical to experience all these symptoms when you have an episode of vertigo.
Vertigo can be caused by a variety of conditions. It can be due to migraines, inner-ear infections, head injuries, tumors and strokes. However, most vertigo involves a problem with a part of the vestibular system: the inner ear. One of the most common types of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which is an inner-ear problem. It’s estimated that up to 20% of adults experience BPPV every year. For these people, physical therapy can be an effective treatment for vertigo.
How physical therapists treat vertigo
A type of physical therapy called vestibular rehab is an effective treatment for vertigo. A physical therapist will perform tests to determine its cause. You’ll also be asked questions such as:
- How long does the vertigo last?
- When did it first start?
- Do you have nausea as well?
- What are you doing when you experience vertigo?
The goal of your physical therapist is to eliminate the symptoms of vertigo and get you moving again. Vestibular rehab for vertigo can take many forms. You may be given exercises to improve your ability to focus your eyes, to help the brain correct differences with the inner ear and to improve balance. You may even be prescribed exercises to improve overall flexibility, physical health and overall well-being.
How does vestibular rehab help people with BPPV?
To help relieve BPPV, your physical therapist will often use multiple therapy techniques. Some of the common therapy methods used for BPPV include:
- Canalith repositioning — This is also referred to as the Epley maneuver. It entails doing trunk and patterned head movements designed to reposition the calcium carbonate crystals, or canaliths, that cause BPPV. Canalith repositioning has a success rate of more than 95% for BPPV patients according to one study.
- Brandt-Daroff maneuver — This technique is another type of movement intended to reduce the symptoms of BPPV. It can also be used to treat labyrinthitis. One study shows that the Brandt-Daroff maneuver has an up to 98% success rate for BPPV patients.
- Semont maneuver — This type of therapy involves your physical therapist rapidly moving you from lying on one side to lying on the other. The goal of this technique is to move the canaliths to a place where they don’t trigger vertigo. Medical researchers report that the Semont maneuver has a more than 90% success rate for BPPV patients.
Therapeutic exercises are also an important part of treatment for vertigo. Your physical therapist will give you a specific program of home exercises to do daily.
Armor Physical Therapy offers vertigo treatment
Are you in need of treatment that can truly help reduce episodes of vertigo? Our team at Armor Physical Therapy can help meet your needs. We offer free screenings that can reveal the source of your vertigo. Additionally, our physical therapists excel at creating personalized vestibular rehab plans intended to reduce the frequency of vertigo symptoms.
Is vertigo making it hard for you to leave home? No worries! Our team offers at-home therapy and virtual care services that you can take advantage of without leaving home. Even better, you can begin using our therapy services without first getting a doctor’s referral.
Take the next step to start getting our help with your vertigo. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your free screening.