Vertigo is the sensation of yourself, or the environment around you, moving.

This sensation may be brought on by certain head positions, damage to particular areas of the balance reflex pathways, or mechanical problems occurring within the inner ear.

The most common type of vertigo is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or ‘BPPV’, which has been estimated to account for upwards of 30% of all vertigo cases. BPPV is the result of tiny crystals traveling into the wrong tunnels of the inner ear. The majority of BPPV cases occur with no apparent injury or incident. However, this condition can be brought on through car accidents or other traumas, or even inner ear infections. This form of vertigo is most commonly seen in individuals over the age of 55, and has a tendency to be seen more in females.

Individuals with BPPV often experience symptoms of vertigo when they move their heads into different positions, for example: lying on their side, looking up, leaning forward, etc. These symptoms can be quite debilitating, and can lead to anxiety, withdrawal from social activities, as well as a reduction in physical activity.  Many individuals live with this condition for years, experiencing frequent re-occurrences of symptoms.

If you have experienced vertigo in the past, or know someone who has, you are aware of how life altering these symptoms can be. You may also be interested to know that BPPV can be treated quickly and effectively with physiotherapy. Research has shown that over 80% of BPPV cases can be resolved with one physiotherapy treatment session, and 98% showed symptom resolution within three treatment sessions!

So the next time you experience vertigo, or know someone who has these symptoms, let them know that physiotherapy may be a fast and effective treatment option to allow them to return back to their normal activities of life!

Not all dizziness is vertigo. Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness. Dizziness is a general term with a variety of sensation sand can cause:

  • lightheadedness
  • swaying
  • disorientation

Vestibular impairment is an underlying cause in as many as 45% of people complaining of dizziness and may be due to:

  • mild head trauma
  • infection(s)
  • pressure trauma or
  • system degeneration in the elderly.

Vestibular physiotherapy can be very helpful, especially in the elderly, to decrease the risk of falls, prevent de-conditioning and educate on using other systems (visual, sensory) to help compensate. Vestibular retraining is also a very important component when treating concussion patients to get them back to their pre-injury level. 

Let your physio know if you are experiencing vertigo.