Do you ever feel dizzy after standing up after a long time or making a sudden movement? Have you ever experienced a situation where it feels like the world around you is spinning? If so, you may be suffering from dizziness and vertigo.
If not treated appropriately, vertigo can prove to be a severe problem. It can lead to headaches, increase the chances of falls and motor accidents. Therefore, receiving proper treatment for these conditions at the right time is of paramount importance. Fortunately, there are several treatments like physical therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, etc., which help you effectively control the symptoms of dizziness.
In this article, we have covered everything you need to know about dizziness, including the symptoms, types, and in-depth information about vestibular therapy – the most effective treatment for vertigo and dizziness.
What are Dizziness and Vertigo?
Vertigo in itself is a symptom rather than a condition resulting from different conditions that affect the body parts such as the inner ear, brain, and the sensory nerve pathway responsible for controlling your eye movement and ability to balance.
Damage to the vestibular or dysfunction due to an injury or illness can result in vertigo. Here are some of the most prevalent ailments that can trigger the onset of vertigo-
- An ear infection
- Cerebellar disease
- Head Injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brain Tumor
- Inner ear injuries or ear surgery
Types of Vertigo
According to studies, peripheral vertigo accounts for the majority of vertigo cases. Issues with the inner ear generally cause it.
When we stand up, the sensory channel in the inner ear instructs the brain to respond to gravity and keeps us balanced.
Damage to this system causes dizziness, as well as a loss of balance and coordination.
As implied by its name, Central vertigo is linked to a problem with the central nervous system. It usually comes from problems with the brainstem or cerebellum.
Vestibular migraine, demyelination, and malignancies impacting a CNS region or many regions are some of the possible reasons that cause this type of vertigo.
How Can Physical Therapy Help In Controlling Your Vertigo?
Step 1 – Diagnosis
Vertigo is difficult to diagnose. It requires a comprehensive examination and analysis. To decide whether your symptoms are an indication of vertigo, your doctors will inquire about your symptoms, family, and medical history. Once it is concluded, they will perform a physical examination. If both the tests indicate that you might have vertigo, the doctor will advise you to go through additional tests such as a CT scan, MRI(magnetic resonance imaging), or a perfusion scan.
Step 2 – Treatment
The symptoms and severity of vertigo and dizziness vary from individual to individual. Therefore physical therapists prepare an individualized treatment regimen tailored to each patient’s specific symptoms and causes of symptoms.
In general, a combination of physical therapist-assisted vestibular rehabilitation and symptomatic pain-relief drugs are ideal for helping you control and eradicate your symptoms. Most probably, a vestibular therapy program will consist of the following –
- Exercises to alleviate dizzy sensations and regain your balance.
- Exercises to help your brain “correct” differences between your inner ears.
- Medications for headache relief or treatment of internal ear infections etc.
- Exercises to improve your vision
Benefits of Vestibular Rehabilitation
If you seek a non-invasive treatment for vertigo, vestibular therapy would be the best alternative. A vestibular therapy expert will use evidence-based diagnostic methods to determine the cause of your symptoms. Next, they will form an individualized treatment plan that incorporates comprehensive therapies to help you control and eliminate symptoms without resorting to intrusive procedures.
Reduced Reliance On Harmful Medications
Your doctor will determine which movements cause the spinning feeling and create a holistic treatment plan that includes exercises, stretches, and manual therapy techniques. The strategies described will encourage natural healing and lessen a patient’s Reliance on medications for symptom improvement that can prove hazardous to their health in the long run.
Overall Health Benefits
Along with the above-mentioned primary benefits, vestibular therapy also helps the patient improve their overall health and well-being. Following are the additional benefits of vestibular rehab.
- Decreased risk of falling
- Minimal dizziness symptoms
- Improved balance
- Improved vision/gaze
- Increased physical strength and endurance
- Increase in confidence due to better balance
- Improved neck motion, reduced symptoms
How successful is vestibular rehabilitation therapy?
In several cases of dizziness and vertigo, it has been observed that vestibular rehabilitation therapy is the only treatment required for permanent relief from the symptoms.
On the other hand, sometimes it is a part of a pre/ post-surgery treatment plan or is combined with other physical therapy techniques.
If your symptoms are minor and do not require invasive treatment, following a treatment regime prescribed by a physical therapist will be enough for decreasing the symptoms significantly or eliminating them altogether.