There are many reasons why you may feel dizzy. One of the reasons is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (often referred to as ‘vertigo’ or ‘BPPV’). And believe it or not, it is treatable by a specially trained Physio.
This type of vertigo occurs mostly after the age of 40 but also in people as young as 30. It can be caused by a sudden change in head posture such as a knock on the head or tipping your head back , like over the washing basin at the hairdresser. It can also happen insidiously i.e. over a period of time by itself.
What causes it?
It is due to the calcium deposit that normally sits at the base of the vestibular system getting dislodged into one of the inner ear canals. These canals usually communicate with the brain to provide information about the head position. At the same time your eyes also provide your brain with information about your current head position. Usually, these two pieces of information match up and give you your sense of space and balance. However, if the calcium deposit gets dislodged into one of the inner canals, the vestibular system then sends the wrong information about the head position. The information from the eyes no longer matches and the brain gets confused. It responds by causing violent rapid eye movement called nystagmus. The nystagmus is often accompanied by dizziness and nausea.
What is the treatment?
Fortunately, even without treatment, in most cases it will naturally improve over a 6-week period. But if you can’t wait that long, there is a quick test to diagnose the condition and treat it very effectively. It is called Epley’s manoeuver. It is a series of head movements in a particular order depending on the side and the canal that the calcium deposit has dislodged into. Research has shown that Epley’s manoeuver has a success rate as high as 90% after 1-2 treatment sessions. Each treatment session is followed by a home program and it is usually necessary to continue the program over the 3-week period. This ensures that you do not relapse.
Tad, is an APA Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist who has been at SquareOne Physio for the last 5 and a half years. Tad has attended special courses and is trained in treating patients with vertigo using the Epley’s manoeuver. If you are unsure if your Vertigo can be assessed and treated feel free to call Tad at the Bridgepoint clinic on 9968 3424 to see if he thinks it would be worthwhile attending an appointment.