Dizziness and vertigo are not interchangeable terms. Vertigo is defined as a sense of movement of the environment, whereas dizziness can describe a variety of sensations, such as light-headedness, swaying, and disorientation.
Vertigo can have many different causes, the most common of which is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). This is a reaction to movement of fluid and crystals in the vestibular system in the ear. Symptoms may include nystagmus (rapid eye movement), a sense of movement, and a loss of balance. BPPV is normally easy to diagnose and treat and will generally clear up quickly.
Other causes of vertigo can include damage to the nerves that supply the vestibular system on one or both sides. This can also be a result of old damage from infection or trauma that happened years ago. Migraines can also cause vertigo, as can Meniere’s disease. Less common causes include global neurological issues such as stroke or MS.
These issues should be referred to a specialist via a GP for investigation and diagnosis, although with most of these conditions vertigo will only be one of many symptoms.
How Can Physio Help?
With BPPV there is a simple diagnostic test carried out at the clinic, followed by a treatment protocol that can be successful within 3 treatments.
Craniosacral therapy can also be very helpful with clearing any neck related issues that could be having an impact on symptoms of dizziness or vertigo.
For other issues, such as damage to the nerves, treatment is a little more specialized and requires a longer period of specific exercises. This is termed ‘vestibular rehabilitation’.
We are pleased to be able to offer this service as David Bailey has recently completed a level 1 vestibular rehab course in Kelowna.
Spinning out? You don’t have to live with it – come see us at Jericho Physio! We take a “whole body” approach to treatment to get to the source of your problem, instead of just treating your symptoms. Our goal is to treat you today and educate you for tomorrow, so that your vertigo becomes a thing of the past. To arrange an appointment, please call our office at 604-228-1474 or use our online request form.