by Sean Hagey
You may be surprised to know that physical therapy is sometimes the answer to relieving even the worst cases of vertigo or dizziness. Dizziness is one of the most common complaints in the medical field today, particularly when it comes to older adults. Sometimes dizziness can be incredibly scary and debilitating, which can make it challenging to identify the cause when you don’t feel well. If you haven’t had a recent surgery or recent changes in your medications, there are a lot of things your physical therapist can do to help identify and treat the cause of your dizziness.
One of the most common complaints we hear from dizzy patients in physical therapy is that they feel like the room is spinning when they roll over in bed, when they lie down, or when they sit up from a lying down position. These complaints are very common for someone suffering from positional vertigo. Positional vertigo just means that you are having dizziness that occurs specifically with certain positions such as those mentioned above. These symptoms are due to a problem with your inner ear system, which is known as the vestibular system.
It is helpful to find a therapist that is experienced with vestibular rehabilitation because positional vertigo is very easy to address with physical therapy. Sometimes it might only take one or two short visits to return back to your old self! Positional vertigo can be caused by small particles in the inner ear that have moved from their normal spot. The therapist will place you in certain positions to identify the source of your vertigo and then apply the appropriate treatment to help the inner ear return to normal. Once the source of the dizziness in the inner ear has been re-positioned, the person may have no further complaints. Your Somersworth Physical Therapist can then educate you on ways to address this problem on your own if it happens again.
Somersworth Physical Therapy can get you back on your feet
It should be noted that positional vertigo is not typically treated in the emergency room because it is not life threatening, so it is very common for physical therapists to find frustrated patients who have had all of their systems medically cleared before they finally end up with a physical therapist who can directly address their complaints. This just further reinforces the importance of checking in with your local PT early in the course of your dizziness! It can save you serious time, money, and stress.
Physical therapists who are trained to work with the vestibular system will also hear many other complaints related to dizziness from their patients such as: dizziness that occurs because of headaches or neck pain, dizziness that results from a viral or bacterial infection in the inner ear, among others. Typically the role of the physical therapist in the above situations is to help you get moving and re-educate the systems that help you maintain your balance. Getting you out of bed and moving is often the best cure when it comes to addressing dizziness.