We’ve all had the sensation of being dizzy – as if you can’t focus, can’t see straight, can’t stand upright without swaying or falling. You may even experience “tunnel vision,” where your peripheral vision goes dark for a few seconds.
Dizziness is a very common condition. Vertigo, on the other hand, is not quite the same.
While dizziness is often used interchangeably with “lightheadedness,” which gives the impression of being unsteady, vertigo is almost always linked to a physical condition that produces an actual imbalance in your body.
Just a few of the many factors that can lead to dizziness include lack of sleep, poor nutrition, overexertion, or a physical ailment, such as a head cold or the flu.
Dizziness can also occur from something as simple as standing up too quickly after an extended period of rest. Some accompanying symptoms to dizziness may include:
Vertigo is most commonly caused by an imbalance in the inner ear, also known as the “vestibular system.” Your vestibular system helps you maintain your balance and center of gravity by sending messages to your brain regarding your movement.
When this is impaired, the necessary messages become blocked from your brain, and your movement becomes affected. You may feel as if the world is spinning around you, you can’t focus your vision for prolonged periods of time, or you can’t stand/move properly without feeling like you are going to topple over.
Some common causes of vertigo include:
Some accompanying symptoms to vertigo may also include:
Both dizziness and vertigo can hinder your daily life, limiting your ability to perform even the simplest of tasks. Luckily, no matter what the cause may be, physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo can help.
Vestibular rehabilitation includes treatments such as the Epley maneuver and Cawthorne head exercises.
The Epley maneuver allows for canalith repositioning, in order to move the broken calcium crystals in patients experiencing BBPV. Cawthorne head exercises focus on decreasing nerve sensitivity and reducing the effects of vertigo. In addition to those treatments, physical therapists will also provide you with a personalized treatment plan that works for your specific condition.
Physical therapists can help restore peace of mind and comfort back into your life so that you’re able to feel confident as you go about even the simplest tasks.