Many people may experience dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems during their lifetime. These symptoms may be a result of medications, heart problems, neuropathies, or possibly something that has affected the vestibular system. A thorough evaluation is critical to identify what may be causing the symptoms and to develop the best treatment for an individual.
When it comes to Vertigo, the most common disorder of the inner ear's vestibular system is BPPV.
BPPV stands for:
- Benign indicates that it is not life threatening and generally doesn't progress.
- Paroxysmal indicates sudden onset of symptoms.
- Positional refers to the fact that the symptoms usually occur with changes in head position.
- Vertigo is a spinning sensation.
BPPV occurs when small, micro-sized calcium crystals called otoconia become dislodged from their normal location on the utricle, one of the inner ear sensory organs. These otoconia are usually embedded in a gelatin like material on top of the utricle. If there are enough otoconia floating around, they can aggregate into a larger clump.
Because they are heavy, they migrate into the lowest part of the inner ear, the posterior semicircular canal. Once in the semicircular canal, they may still move when the head changes position. It is the movement of these stones that causes an unwanted flow of fluid in the semicircular canal even after the head has stopped moving. This leads to a false sense that the head and body are spinning around or that the world around you is spinning around.
Causes of BVVP vary from
The best way to battle vertigo from the comfort of your own home is by practicing physiotherapy known as vestibular rehabilitation, a relatively new form of physical therapy. Not all physical therapists are trained in the practice. Typically these exercises consist of movements that initially make the vertigo worse, followed by balance tasks that are quite difficult. However, by doing these repetitively, the balance system in the brain learns to function better. Common exercises include moving the eyes from side to side, rotating the head from side to side, rotating the head from side to side while walking down a corridor, and such other exercises.
Here are two exercises you can go at home with your physical therapist if you suffer from vertigo.
The Epley maneuver
It is one that is applied by physical therapist and can be used at home. It is effective in approximately 90 percent of cases, but these exercises can be hard to self-apply because they cause severe vertigo during the exercise and require a precise sequence of head movements that usually require an assistant. During these maneuvers, there is also a risk that the particles can be moved into other spinning sensors, resulting in an increase in symptoms rather than improvement.
The Half Somersault Maneuver
This form of therapy reduces this risk while allowing the particles to be quickly relocated without the need for an assistant. In comparison of the Epley maneuver to the Half Somersault Maneuver when used as a home exercise, both exercises were able to relieve symptoms of the disease; patients reported less dizziness and had fewer complications when self-applying the Half Somersault Maneuver. Because the exercise can be performed by most people with the disease, its home use should result in considerable savings in health care costs both for consumers and health plans.
If you're still not sure about how to go about these exercises, feel free to visit your closest physiotherapist for more information and solutions.