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Treating Vertigo with Physiotherapy

BPPV physiotherapy

Vertigo is the sensation of giddiness and a loss of balance particularly associated with activities which involve looking down from great heights. This condition is usually accompanied by nausea, abnormal jerking of the eye, headache, sweating, ringing in the ears and hearing loss. Vertigo is a symptom of a medical condition and is commonly visible in two distinct forms: Peripheral and Central. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common type of peripheral vertigo, usually diagnosed among the age group of 20 - 30.

Characterized by extreme dizziness, BPPV is caused by the movement of tiny, crystalline particles in the fluid of your inner ear.  It can be treated with the help of an expert Physical Therapist (PT). BPPV physiotherapy is commonly known as Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy. This rehabilitation process works on the treatment of your vestibular system which comprises of parts of the inner-ear and the brain. Vestibular Rehabilitation uses different techniques such as habituation, gaze stabilization, and balance improvement to treat vertigo. It helps in improving your balance and lets you gain greater control over your condition.

Here’s a closer look at the process of BPPV physiotherapy:

Habituation Exercises

People suffering from BPPV experience spells of extreme dizziness and disorientation. Habituation exercises with a physiotherapist reduce the severity of these spells and help the patient get familiarized with the condition. These exercises induce mild spells of dizziness which are gradually increased in intensity over time. This allows the patient’s brain to become accustomed to the stimuli, helping them deal with vertigo better.

Treatment with a PT can also help you reposition the fragments in your ear that induce vertigo using specific techniques. This reduces the frequency and severity of your condition.

Gaze Stabilization

Gaze stabilization is used for the treatment of patients who have difficulty in controlling their eye movements, particularly while they are moving their heads. This condition makes it difficult for people to view their surroundings easily, causing frequent spells of headaches. Performing gaze stabilization exercises with an experienced PT can help people regain greater control over their eyes. One of the most common exercises used for gaze stabilization includes focusing one’s eyes on a stationary object for a brief period of time. Another common exercise is keeping one’s head still while following the side to side trajectory of an object, such as a pen, with one’s eyes to separate the head and eye movements.

Balancing Exercises

One of they key issues associated with BPPV is the loss of balance and control while walking or standing. The type of physiotherapy exercises required to treat this problem depends on the stimulus that triggers these spells. An experienced PT examines your condition carefully and uses strategic exercises and movements to re-align your balance. A physiotherapist can also advise you about the movements that trigger your condition which in turn helps in reducing the frequency of these spells.

Vertigo, though not critical, prevents you from performing several everyday activities such as climbing stairs or playing your favorite sport. Consult our physiotherapy experts to remedy this problem today.