(Vertigo/ Dizziness/ Concussion)

The vestibular system resides in our inner ear and is important in sensing motion, maintaining upright posture and balance, and allowing our eyes to remain focussed on an object when we move our head. When our vestibular system is damaged we may feel dizzy or lightheaded, experience vertigo (the sensation of the room spinning), or have difficulty maintaining our balance. Additionally, nausea, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), aural fullness (the sense of our ear being plugged) and hearing loss may occur. While dizziness and imbalance can occur due to a variety of causes, impairment of the vestibular system is a common disorder.

What is vestibular rehabilitation?

BPPV occurs when calcium carbonate crystals become displaced and fall into one of the semicircular canals. Typical symptoms are vertigo with lying down, rolling over in bed, or tipping the head up. The vertigo usually lasts less than a minute and may be accompanied by imbalance or nausea. BPPV can be spontaneous or may be related to head trauma. During your physiotherapy visit, tests will determine which canal is affected. A variety of treatment methods can be employed to move the crystals out of the canal. BPPV is usually resolved within a few visits.

Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis occurs when a virus affects the vestibular nerve or inner ear. Symptoms include dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms are usually very strong for a few days, but improve over the first week. Residual symptoms respond well to vestibular exercises.

Vestibular rehabilitation is the assessment and treatment of vestibular disorders. Knowing the history of the problem, and performing specialized tests help determine the most likely pathology. Three commonly seen conditions include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis, and cervicogenic dizziness.

Cervicogenic dizziness is caused by irritation of the neck muscles or joints. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea and imbalance. Physiotherapy treatment to address the neck pathology will help resolve symptoms.

If you are having problems with dizziness or imbalance, call 250-248-2644 to schedule an appointment with Chuck or Carmen.

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