In a Spin??
Dizziness is an ‘unsettling’ condition that can affect 2.4% of the population.
Vertigo is one type of dizziness and although it can be caused by many factors the cause if often unknown.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) typically occurs between the ages of 50 – 70 with 10% of the population who live into the 80’s having been affected.
Vertigo is described as feeling like you are turning around when you are standing still. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo.
BPPV usually causes intense, brief episodes if dizziness / vertigo associated with moving the head, often when rolling in bed. Some people feel dizzy when they tip their head back or complete head checks in the car. Feeling nauseous may also occur.
BPPV tends to come and go for no reason. It can be caused by minor head injury, degeneration of the vestibular system in the inner ear due to increasing age, or damage cause by an inner ear disorder. There is also an association with osteoporosis and people who work with a persistent head tilt (such as dentists or hairdressers).
BPPV occurs when tiny particles break loose and fall into the wrong part of the vestibular system in the inner ear, stimulating the nerves that detect head rotation. The brain receives the message that the head is spinning although the head position has moved only slightly. These little crystals or ‘ear rocks’ block the normal flow of fluid in the inner ear canals. It typically occurs only in one ear.
BPPV can be diagnosed and treated with easily learnt manoeuvres and exercises by visiting your doctor or Physiotherapist. However if your symptoms persist you may be referred to a specialist. Short term use of motion sickness medications are sometimes used to control associated nausea. It is advisable to seek treatment early to prevent unnecessary falls and loss of balance. We find that the development of neck pain is not uncommon due to the neck muscles becoming overactive in attempting to right the head (when in fact it’s position is not altered).
If you have found yourself in such a ‘spin’ the Physiotherapists at Total Physiocare can help you get back on the level! Click here to book here now!
Blog by Rebecca Linnane (Physiotherapist)