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Physiotherapy for Vertigo Treatment

Vertigo is a type of dizziness which gives you a feeling of disorientation or a feeling that the room is spinning. Vertigo is often a result of an inner ear problem and is the false sensation of movement, tilting, spinning or swaying. Normally the brain skillfully combines messages received from the balance control areas in each of your ears. But if one side is causing you problems then these messages can get distorted and possibly cause vertigo or dizziness.

If you’ve ever experienced dizziness, often this is a result of an inner ear problem which may include: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), inflammation of the inner ear or migraines. Sometimes dizziness is caused by other problems such as anxiety, low blood pressure or hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).

One of the most common types of vertigo is BPPV. Unfortunately, BPPV can often have no associated cause, and will be referred to as idiopathic BPPV.

Other forms of vertigo include vestibular neuritis and cervical dizziness. Cervical dizziness is caused by upper neck stiffness and can often be present without the feeling of neck tightness or pain. Vestibular neuritis is a result of inner ear inflammation, or inflammation of the nerve which connects the inner ear to the brain (the vestibular nerve). Quite often this is caused by a viral infection and can result in dizziness, unsteadiness, balance issues, and occasionally vision or hearing problems.

Symptoms of vertigo can include:

  • Spinning or swaying sensations
  • Feeling unbalanced
  • Vision problems
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sweating

The Inner Ear

Your inner ear contains a series of semicircular canals filled with fluid. When you move your head the fluid inside the canals lets your brain know the direction, speed and angle of the movement. This information allows the brain to adjust the eyes in a way which maintains clear and steady vision. When problems occur in the inner ear this affects this process, resulting in vertigo or dizziness. Most often, vertigo issues that involve the inner ear are treatable.

Vertigo Treatment

Your doctor may recommend physiotherapy (physical therapy) as a vertigo treatment option. But this will depend on the cause of your vertigo. Vestibular rehabilitation (specific exercises) and balance training are available from trained and experienced physiotherapists in vertigo physiotherapy treatment in Perth. Balance exercises with a vestibular physiotherapist aim to ‘retrain’ the nervous system and help to reduce vertigo.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is effective when the issue is due to inner ear problems. The goal is to restore your balance by using your other senses and to allow your brain and nervous system to compensate and relearn (neuroplasticity). The aims of VRT are to improve gaze and body stability, reduce vertigo and enhance daily living activities. VRT is a series of exercises using head and eye movements with various body postures, movements and activities. VRT is a safe and effective treatment for vertigo.

How Vertigo Physiotherapy Can Help

Vestibular therapy can be helpful for vertigo particularly when movement aggravates your symptoms. Vestibular therapy is shown to improve balance and movement and reduce symptoms. It helps to reduce the risk of falls and increase steadiness when walking. A vestibular physiotherapist Perth can help you to return to everyday activities with confidence.

Director & Senior Physiotherapist at Integrity Physiotherapy, Leslie Trigg, has over 13 years of experience in clinical practice. He has graduated with a degree in Human Biology (Anatomy and Physiology) from Curtin University in 2001 and later completed a Masters of Physiotherapy in 2007. He has tremendous experience in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, neurosurgical and sports physiotherapy. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, listening to music and spending time with his family.