Vertigo is a life-altering diagnosis but is not a disease in itself, it is the name given to a group of symptoms. An individual feeling a sensation of spinning, rocking, or rotating when they are not moving is experiencing vertigo.
This sensation can be very disturbing, even debilitating, and can quickly progress to more severe symptoms, such as; nausea, lightheadedness, and vomiting.
Vertigo is often first treated with anti-nausea medication to reduce symptoms, but often patients should be referred to a physical therapist trained in Vestibular & Inner Ear therapy for further testing. There are several tests the physical therapist will perform to narrow down the causes of vertigo. Some of the causes of vertigo are:
- Benign Paraoxymal Postition Vertigo (BPPV)
- Neck Issues
- Vascular Impairment (blood supply issues)
- Central Nervous System (stroke or tumor)
- Ménière's Disease
- Inner-ear Infections
After the evaluation several of the causes mentioned above can be immediately treated. For example, if the patient's cause of vertigo is BPPV then the therapist can perform a maneuver that can immediately resolve the symptom!
If you are experiencing vertigo, ask you primary care physician for a referral to Riverview Physical Therapy (Portland or Windham) to schedule your evaluation and begin your road to recovery.