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Vertigo is a debilitating condition characterized by a false sensation of spinning or whirling, often accompanied by dizziness, nausea, and loss of balance. If you suffer from vertigo, you know that it can significantly impact on your quality of life, making even simple daily activities challenging or impossible.

Vertigo can arise from many underlying causes, so it’s important to see your doctor to establish the cause of yours. Physical therapy has emerged as a valuable potential treatment approach to help alleviate symptoms, restore balance, and improve overall well-being for many people

Understanding Vertigo

Vertigo is commonly caused by disturbances in the inner ear, which is responsible for maintaining our balance and spatial orientation. These disturbances can arise from conditions such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis, or Meniere’s disease. Regardless of the specific cause, vertigo can significantly disrupt daily activities and lead to feelings of unease, anxiety, and loss of independence.

Can Physical Therapy Help with My Vertigo?

Physical therapy may be a great non-invasive and effective treatment option if you’re suffering from vertigo. By employing specialized techniques and exercises, physical therapists may be able to address the underlying causes of vertigo, reduce symptoms, and restore balance and stability.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized branch of physical therapy focused on addressing vestibular disorders, including vertigo. It involves a comprehensive evaluation of your condition, followed by the development of a customized treatment plan. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises aim to strengthen the vestibular system, improve gaze stability, and promote central nervous system adaptation. These exercises may include eye movements, head and body positioning maneuvers, and balance retraining exercises.

Canalith Repositioning Procedures

Canalith repositioning procedures, such as the Epley maneuver, are commonly used to treat vertigo caused by BPPV. This technique involves a series of head and body movements designed to dislodge and reposition the calcium crystals within the inner ear, which are causing the vertigo symptoms. Some physical therapists are trained to perform these procedures. Those that are trained can perform these procedures safely and effectively, providing relief for individuals suffering from BPPV-induced vertigo.

Balance Training

Vertigo can often impact your balance and lead to an increased risk of falls. Physical therapists use balance training exercises to help you improve your stability and reduce your fear of falling. These exercises may include activities that challenge balance, such as standing on unstable surfaces, walking on different terrains, and performing specific movements to improve coordination and proprioception.

Education and Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to exercises and maneuvers, physical therapists can provide essential education and guidance to individuals with vertigo. They can help you understand your condition, identify triggers that worsen symptoms, and offer strategies for managing and preventing future episodes. This may involve lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding specific head positions, managing stress levels, and implementing relaxation techniques.

Living with vertigo can be challenging, but physical therapy offers a ray of hope and relief. By employing specialized techniques, exercises, and education, physical therapists can help you regain your balance, alleviate symptoms, and restore your quality of life.

If you or a loved one are experiencing vertigo, it may be worth consulting a physical therapist with expertise in treating vestibular disorders. They will assess your condition, develop a personalized treatment plan, and guide you through the journey to recovery. Taking action now may help prevent future injuries that arise due to falls and other incidents related to your vertigo.

At South Orange Rehabilitation & Wellness, we look forward to helping you. Book an appointment today to get started.