Like I always say, when you’re dizzy and you don’t know which way the floor is… you’re sure to end up on it!
Dizziness is a huge factor in falls. Many people get dizzy or have what we call “vertigo” and fall. So what can you do about it??? Well Physical Therapy of course! (Really??? PT for Vertigo?!?!) Yes, Physical Therapy can improve dizziness with great success.
There are several things that can make you dizzy. If you are dizzy, the first step is to go to your doctor to make sure your heart is not the cause. The heart trumps everything. We have to rule out any cardiac issue first. Once they decide it’s not your heart, we can start PT!
There are 2 main things that vertigo can come from:
- The Inner Ear
- Vestibular Occular Reflex (VOR)
The inner ear, sometimes referred to as the vestibular system, provides important information on the position of our head and its movement in space. This is how you know you are “tilting” sideways. The inner ear is made up of 3 canals or tubes. These tubes have tiny microscopic crystals in them. When you turn your head to one side, the crystals on one side vibrate. This tells your body that your head is turning. These crystals help keep your head in the correct alignment and tell your body where you are.
If there are too many crystals in your ear it can trick your brain into thinking that your head is moving when it’s not. Hence the dizzy or spinning sensation. This is called Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). It usually occurs when you bend forward or look up.