Do you feel dizzy when you sit up in bed or after lying down? Does turning your head when you walk throw you off balance? If yes, you may need a Physical Therapist that is a specialist in treating balance problems and dizziness. This type of physical therapy is called Vestibular Rehabilitation.
Vestibular Physical Therapy is an area of specialty that requires additional training and certification above and beyond the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree. Some common vestibular disorders that can respond to physical therapy treatment include Vestibular Neuritis, Ménière’s disease and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
At Empower Physical Therapy we employ many Vestibular specialists at several of our clinics. Please search our locations to find a Vestibular Physical Therapist near you.
The most common vestibular disorder is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV. BPPV is characterized by temporary dizziness associated with blurred vision in relation to certain head positions. The reason the dizziness occurs with head movement is because you have small crystals in your ear that can become dislodged for unknown reasons. These crystals then become loose in either your anterior, posterior or medial semi-circular canals. These canals contain fluid and hair that senses the position of your head in space. When the crystals become dislodged and are floating in these canals then it causes dizziness when the head is moved. BPPV typically happens to individuals over 50 years of age.
A certified certified physical therapist can help in the treatment of vertigo by performing one of many manual therapy treatment options. The most common is the The Epley Maneuver which is very effective often with one attempt.
The Epley Maneuver is simple to perform with the help of a doctor of physical therapy. During the Epley Manuever, the patient is seated and the physical therapist turns the patient's head forty-five degrees horizontally, toward the ear that is causing the vertigo symptoms. Then the patient is tilted backward into a completely horizontal position, keeping the head tilted toward the affected ear. The patient then is held in this position for roughly a minute and a half, or until the sensation of vertigo subsides. Finally, the physical therapist will roll the patient toward and onto the affected ear. This maneuver should only be performed by a health care professional with advanced training in vestibular rehabilitation.
Not one treatment works for everyone with Vestibular Conditions. Other treatments your physical therapist may implement may include but are not limited to: