By definition, vertigo is a sensation of feeling off balance or dizzy. Most of us have felt dizziness or know someone who has. There are many descriptions of dizziness such as: feeling like you are on a boat, rocking, swimmy headed or feeling like the room is spinning. It can be short lived and simply annoying, or it can be extremely debilitating. Most people think that their only option is to just tough it out because “vertigo has no cure” and “all I can do is wait it out.” WRONG! Others bounce from office to office in search of someone who can provide some sort of relief, and are left without any new information or solution. This can often be disappointing as well. However, when you know where to look, the options are much brighter.
In many cases (about 1/3 of the time) this dizziness/spinning feeling is caused by a condition called BPPV- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This is great news because BPPV is curable in 1-2 physical therapy visits! An experienced vestibular physical therapist can easily diagnose this condition and determine the best treatment which is successful over 90% of the time. A vestibular specialist is a specialist in the area of the inner ear (where the underlying issue is), and will be much more familiar with your condition and symptoms. (See the video below). The treatment maneuver is actually quite easy once it is diagnosed properly and you know which side to treat.
Other causes for vertigo could be: Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, vestibular migraines, multiple sclerosis, or even low blood pressure. These issues can also be helped by a vestibular specialist.
Vertigo Fact vs. Myth