Our vestibular system is our inner ear. It helps keep our balance, brings awareness to our head position in space, and keeps our gaze steady when our head is moving. Vertigo is the sensation of movement while our head is still. It is quite common. It is often described as a feeling of the room spinning or fullness in the head, although the exact sensation is specific to the individual.
BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, is a common vestibular disorder. And fortunately it is quite treatable. Although it is not life-threatening, it does have serious impacts on one's day-to-day functioning, work, and driving abilities. Neuro PT will come directly to you to test for the presence of calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear. This test involves positioning the head in relation to gravity and observing eye movements. Next a repositioning - or moving of the crystals- is performed through a series of body/head movements. Dizziness improvement can be achieved right away.
Eye movement ability is linked to the inner ear. Our eyes should smoothly track an object, be able to jump from one object to another, and the right and left eye should work together to focus on an object. Training of these movements, and techniques for our inner ear to relay information to and from the eyes, can be performed.
Imagine you are on a treadmill attempting to read the closed captions on a T.V.- are the words steady or jumping around? Neuro PT uses a progression of exercises to train one's ability to stabilize their gaze. This can greatly improve one's balance and decrease dizzy episodes.
It is common for someone with vertigo to avoid certain movements in order to lessen their dizziness. This is the body's protective and natural response. However, over time this avoidance diminishes our body's ability to safely perform certain activities. Balance can be improved through a gradual increase in challenging activities.
Our neck and spine have a direct connection to our inner ear. Assessing range of motion of the neck, the vertebra joint mobility, and muscle tension is important. Treatments to modify these factors can reduce dizziness.