Do you or anyone you know suffer from headaches, dizziness or balance issues? Have you been told you have vertigo? Many people have these issues. Unfortunately, they commonly go untreated or are often just masked with medication, never addressing the root of the problem. But there is hope! Physical therapists can obtain specialized training to treat these conditions, in many cases successfully managing or even eliminating the symptoms of vertigo.
Vertigo, dizziness, and imbalance are characteristics of a vestibular dysfunction. Your vestibular system is housed in your inner ear, and informs your brain to where your body and head are in space (to keep it simple). Here's a quick video that does an excellent job demonstrating this complex system:
Sounds complicated right? That is why there are many mechanisms for why individuals experience dizziness or imbalance. A recent epidemiological study, found that 35% of adults, 40 years or older exhibited some form of vestibular dysfunction. That is approximately 69 million Americans, making this a very common dysfunction.
Many physical therapists are trained and choose to treat vestibular disorders. Through testing performed with your eyes, neck movements, and balance (amongst other tests) a physical therapist can classify various vestibular disorders and determine the appropriate treatment approach, based on the mechanism our cause, and also refer out when necessary.
If you or anyone you know suffers from dizziness, vertigo, neck pain that causes dizziness, headaches, or balance issues, don't hesitate to reach out to a physical therapist. Make sure to ask them if they treat vestibular issues. As always you can reach out to us at Team Sapiens to guide you to an appropriate medical professional to treat these life changing conditions.
In my next post I will describe the most common and successfully treated vestibular disorder: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Otherwise known as BPPV. Once the post is finished, I will directly link it to this post here.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for follow up posts on vestibular dysfunction.
Dr. Karen PT, DPT, Cert. VRT (Vestibular Rehab Therapist)