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Do you feel off-balance and experience spinning sensations?

Do you feel dizzy when you turn your head quickly or stand up suddenly?

Do you feel dizzy and nauseous and have frequent episodes of vertigo?

You’re not alone. Approx. 1.5 million Americans suffer from vertigo. Thankfully physical therapy can be a helpful tool in managing your symptoms — if you choose a good therapist.

For example, the team here at RPM Physical Therapy has a great deal of knowledge and experience in working with the vestibular system and managing the symptoms of vertigo.

In this blog post, we walk you through the therapeutic options we provide for vertigo, from visual exercises to posture improvement.

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What Is Vertigo?

You know that feeling when you stand up too fast and feel dizzy for a moment? Well, imagine that happening all the time. 

Imagine trying to walk a straight line while everything around you is spinning. That’s what it’s like for people who suffer from vertigo.

If it’s happening to you and you feel dizzy, as if the world is spinning around, and you and your body feel unstable, you may be experiencing vertigo – a common and often disabling condition that can cause severe distress and disorientation.

Vertigo is an incredibly weird sensation, yet it remains one of the lesser-known medical conditions. But what causes vertigo, and how do we treat it?

Let’s delve into all aspects of understanding what vertigo is so that you can better understand this feeling, diagnosis, and treatment options – and why having a sense of balance is critical for our everyday lives. 

Definition And Explanation Of Vertigo

Knowing the signs and symptoms of vertigo is key to promptly diagnosing and treating it. While there is no cure for vertigo, there are treatment options that may help mitigate your symptoms.

Vertigo is a condition that leaves you feeling like you’re drunk or seasick. Its symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary from person to person. Some people experience a spinning sensation, while others feel swaying or tilting.

Nausea and vomiting are also common symptoms of vertigo, as are headaches and sweating. In severe cases, vertigo can cause difficulty with balance and coordination, making it difficult to work, concentrate or look after children.

The onset of these symptoms can be abrupt and come on suddenly, lasting from a few seconds to minutes.

A problem with the inner ear or the brain often causes the feeling of dizziness or spinning. It can be a disorienting and uncomfortable experience, making it challenging to maintain your balance.

The symptoms of vertigo may include nausea, ear ringing (tinnitus), and trouble hearing. While vertigo is usually temporary, it can also be a chronic problem affecting people for months or even years.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Treatments are available to help manage vertigo symptoms and improve your quality of life.

So, if you are experiencing vertigo, we suggest you book a consultation so we can determine the underlying cause and recommend the best course of treatment. 

What Causes Vertigo?

Understanding the various causes of vertigo – and finding yours – is essential, as it can significantly impact your quality of life.

One common cause of the condition is inner ear problems due to inflammation or damage to the “labyrinth.” But don’t worry, we haven’t gone all Sci-Fi; the “labyrinth” – when it relates to the inner ear – is the innermost section of the ear that controls your sense of balance.

The damage to the inner ear is often the lasting result of bacterial or viral ear infection, respiratory infection, or other systemic conditions. 

Other causes of vertigo may include migraines, head injuries, and medication side effects. Conditions like high blood pressure and low blood sugar levels can also lead to vertigo.

But proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to managing vertigo and preventing it from interfering with your daily life. 

So, don’t put it off. Only when you identify the underlying cause can you start the necessary steps to fix it. 

How To Prevent Vertigo

Taking the right precautions can help you avoid vertigo or lessen its frequency and intensity if you already struggle with it.

As vertigo is a dizzying sensation that can make even the sturdiest people feel off-kilter, coping with the symptoms of vertigo can be a challenge.

But there are ways to manage the effects of this condition. Simple exercises like head movements and balance training can help reduce the severity and frequency of vertigo attacks.

It’s also important to stay hydrated and avoid stress, which can trigger symptoms. 

One effective method is keeping physically active with activities like walking, swimming, or yoga, which can help improve your balance and stability over time.

Additionally, avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol and getting enough sleep can also help stave off vertigo. 

How Can Physical Therapy Help With Vertigo Symptoms

Vertigo is debilitating, but people are beginning to understand the value of physical therapy for managing symptoms.

While some vertigo cases can require medical treatments and surgery, many times, the best option for alleviating discomfort is through physical therapy to strengthen balance and coordination.

If you or someone you know suffers from vertigo, we encourage you to try physical therapy.

Vertigo is usually caused by problems in the inner ear or central nervous system, which can throw off your balance and coordination.

It’s a dizzying ordeal, quite literally. But physical therapy can offer some relief from the symptoms.

We help you manage the symptoms of vertigo by teaching you exercises that can improve your balance and stability and helping you develop coping strategies to deal with bouts of dizziness.

These exercises may include head and neck movements, eye exercises, and balance training.

By working with a physical therapist, you can regain your confidence and enjoy a higher quality of life than you have been while living with vertigo. We can help you regain your sense of balance and end those unwanted dizzy spells. 

Identifying the risk factors and triggers of dizziness is essential for those who deal with it. Does something in your diet cause it?

Could it be an underlying medical condition? Or is something as simple as standing up too quickly triggering it?

A physical therapist specializing in vestibular therapy can work with you to help restore balance, decrease dizziness, and improve overall quality of life.

Don’t suffer through vertigo symptoms alone. We help decipher what’s going on and help you overcome it.

When we understand what’s causing it for you, we can help you manage it and find relief.  

Some of the specialist movements we perform include:

  • The Epley Maneuver: Involves a series of head and body movements that can help move tiny calcium particles in the inner ear that may be causing vertigo. This maneuver is most helpful for BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) – the type caused by inner ear issues. 
  • The Brandt-Daroff exercise: Involves getting you to sit upright, then rapidly lying down on one side and then the other, which can help retrain the brain to adjust to fast changes in position. This exercise may help if your vertigo is triggered when you move your head or from sitting to standing.

Physical therapy is proven to be effective in relieving vertigo for people of all ages, young and old.

It helps to improve your balance and coordination while reducing the likelihood of falls and other accidents.

Not only does physical therapy provide relief from the symptoms of vertigo, but it also strengthens your body, improves flexibility, and enhances your overall health and well-being.

We can work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that includes exercises and other activities designed to address your specific needs.

Whether you suffer from vertigo due to an injury or an underlying medical condition, physical therapy can help you find balance and return to feeling like yourself again.

Free Vertigo Consultation With A Physical Therapist

All in all, vertigo can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the causes and symptoms of vertigo, talking to a physical therapist about your symptoms and triggers, and utilizing helpful tips and strategies for prevention, there is hope.

You deserve to lead a comfortable and fulfilled life – without dizziness. Having an experienced physical therapist can make all the difference in your journey toward feeling balanced again.

I encourage you to consider physical therapy to manage your vertigo-related symptoms.

You can start right now by booking a free consultation with one of our physical therapists to get some advice on the best treatment for your specific set of symptoms. Book now. 

Dr. Jonathan Ruzicka
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