Vertigo is a common cause of dizziness and it can often be treated successfully by a Physiotherapist.

(BBPV) Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is one of the most common causes of vertigo. This can feel like a sudden sensation that you are spinning.
Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness defined as the illusion of movement occurring in the environment. With BPPV, symptoms of vertigo are provoked by looking up, lying down flat quickly, bending forward and rolling in bed.

BBPV is a biomechanical problem in which one or more of the semicircular canals in your ear is inappropriately excited resulting in vertigo. The majority of BBPV occurs in the posterior canals. The most common cause of BPPV is free floating crystals (canalithiasis) that enter the canal when they shouldn’t. Cupulothiasis is a less common form of BPPV.

When the head is moved into the plane of the affected canal, the crystal debris moves and changes the flow of the fluid in the canal. This produces a faulty message to the brain causing vertigo symptoms. These symptoms often negatively impact one’s quality of life, ability to do daily tasks and increases the risk of falling.

The Dix-Hallpike test is used to assess the posterior canal (as long as there are no contraindications to doing the test). If this test is positive the Physiotherapist will likely treat using Epley maneuver. Evidence states the Epley maneuver is a safe and effective treatment for posterior canal BBPV (Hilton et al 2014). The efficacy of this approach is outstanding with 78% resolution after one treatment, 93.8% after 2 treatments and 98.4% if 3 treatments are required (Macias et al 2000). Other assessment and treatment techniques are used for the horizontal and anterior canals.

The Physiotherapists at Trimetrics will take a history and complete a comprehensive assessment to identify the area of the vestibular system that is affected. BBPV, although most common, is not the only cause of vestibular disorders. Signs and symptoms of vestibular disorders are nystagmus, vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, ataxia and compromised gaze stability.

A vestibular assessment at Trimetrics is booked for one hour. The assessment will likely stimulate symptoms so that we can diagnose the vestibular problem. We strongly advise you to bring a friend or family member along to drive you home. Physiotherapist’s at Trimetrics will reassure you throughout the assessment and treatment to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

There are many causes of dizziness so seeing your doctor for a medical assessment should be conducted prior to having a physiotherapy assessment and treatment.