Dizziness and vertigo are very common symptoms that can range greatly between individuals.

It is a highly complex condition that can present as lightheadedness, a sensation of spinning or movement, instability or loss of balance. One of the most common reasons for doctor visits, dizziness can arise from a host of different medical origins.

Why Am I Dizzy? Why Do I Have Vertigo?

Vertigo is a sub-type of dizziness that presents as a sensation of spinning or movement, even when you are at rest. It can range in intensity but can be very disorienting and debilitating when severe.

While vertigo is often used to refer to a condition called BPPV, it is important to understand that it is a symptom rather than a condition of itself, and can arise from more than one condition. Identifying the triggers for your vertigo is a fundamental part of coming to a diagnosis and determining treatment.

Geoffrey Dyck

Geoff Dyck

Meet one of our vestibular physiotherapists

Geoff is actively involved in continuing education, taking advanced vestibular, manual therapy, exercise, strength and conditioning, taping and acupuncture/IMS courses.

Causes of Dizziness and Vertigo

Some common causes of dizziness and vertigo include:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Hypoxia
  • Menopause
  • Side effects of medication
  • Neurological conditions
  • Head trauma or neck injury
  • Migraines
  • Vestibular dysfunction.

With these and many other potential causes for dizziness, it is important to have your symptoms assessed by a professional to identify the source of the problem and outline a treatment pathway.

Can Physiotherapy Help Your Dizziness or Vertigo?

Physiotherapists with vestibular training specialize in understanding your body’s structures that sense position and motion.

The vestibular organ, located in your inner ear, is responsible for coordinating these senses with the brain and as such, disorders of the vestibular system are some of the most common, and treatable causes of dizziness.

A vestibular physiotherapist will help to identify and treat vestibular conditions, as well as coordinate with your doctor and refer you to the appropriate medical professional when the origins are beyond our scope of practice to treat.

Common Vestibular Disorders

We put together an article with a more complete list of vestibular conditions that physiotherapy can help with. However here are a few of the more common ones.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV is a condition where calcium carbonate crystals enter the inner ear canal and disrupt you inner ear’s ability to correctly process head movement. This creates a debilitating spinning sensation (vertigo) with certain positions or head movements.

Central Vestibular Conditions

Conditions involving the integration of the brain and inner ear are also very and can be addressed with vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

Head or Neck Injury

Dizziness symptoms are common after concussions and whiplash injuries. The impact can disrupt the brain’s ability to process spatial and positional information and integrate head, eye and body movement, creating a host of dizziness symptoms. The cervical spine, while rarely causing true vertigo (spinning) is commonly associated with dizziness but can be resolved with a combination of manual therapy and exercise, sometimes accompanied by vestibular therapy.

Vestibular Nystagmus

Here’s an example of what a nystamus attack looks like. Rapid horizontal eye movements.

If you’re suffering from vertigo or another vestibular condition, come visit the team at Parkway!

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