Dizziness and vestibular problems

Dizziness or vertigo can be caused by vestibular problems, which are problems affecting the inner ear. Other symptoms can include problems with vision, imbalance, feeling sick, poor concentration tiredness and anxiety.

What causes vestibular problems?

Vestibular problems may be caused by ear infections, a head injury or general ageing.
It is common for people to adopt a less active lifestyle in order to avoid bringing on or aggravating sensations of dizziness or imbalance. Consequently, people start to develop muscle weakness, joint stiffness and reduced stamina. They often find that this makes their original symptoms worse.

How can physiotherapy help vestibular problems?

Physiotherapy can help people with dizziness or vertigo to feel better and regain function in their everyday lives. Physiotherapy can help in the following ways:

  • Training the brain to learn to use other senses to improve balance
  • Providing customised exercises involving head movements to stimulate and retrain the vestibular system
  • Training the brain to habituate to the sensations of dizziness and vertigo

What is Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

BPPV is one of the most common causes of vertigo, which is the sensation that you’re spinning. BPPV happens when crystals within the inner ear, which normally provide information about gravity, become dislodged. This causes vertigo when you move and sometimes makes you sick.

What causes BPPV and how can physiotherapy help?

BPPV can happen for no apparent reason or may be related to a head injury or inner ear infection. Physiotherapy can help to reposition the crystals using various manoeuvres such as the Epley’s and Sermont manoeuvres. Most symptoms improve after the manoeuvre, although occasionally the manoeuvre has to be repeated. Brandt Daroff exercises can also help disperse the crystals in the inner ear.

Contact us to discuss how we can help with dizziness or vertigo.