Dizziness is often caused by illnesses that affect the inner ear, including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), migraine and inflammation of the inner ear balance apparatus (called vestibular neuritis). Dizziness may also be caused by low blood pressure, some heart problems (such as cardiac arrhythmias), anxiety disorders such as panic attacks or (uncommonly) by hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).

Symptoms of dizziness and vertigo:

  • A sensation of movement (including spinning), either of yourself or the external environment
  • Unsteadiness, including finding it difficult to walk in a straight line
  • Light-headedness
  • Feeling ‘faint’
  • Further symptoms that may accompany dizziness include:
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ringing or other sounds in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Staggering gait and loss of coordination (ataxia)
  • Unusual eye movements, such as flitting of the eyes (nystagmus)
  • Finding it difficult to see clearly when moving, for example, reading a sign while walking or driving

Inside the inner ear is a series of canals filled with fluid. These canals are oriented at different angles, and as the head moves, the movement of the fluid inside these canals tells the brain how far, how fast and in what direction the head is moving. This information is then used by the brain to move the eyes an equal and opposite amount, so that the image that is ‘seen’ by the eyes does not blur and remains clear.

What causes dizziness and vertigo?

Disorders of the inner ear account for about half of all cases of persistent (ongoing) dizziness. Disorders include Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and vestibular neuritis.

Your doctor will run some tests if you are suffering from vertigo (medical history, physical examination, blood pressure check, MRI scan in extreme cases), but may send you to a physiotherapist if BPPV is suspected.

If you suffer from BPPV your Belridge Physiotherapist can treat and manage this condition. Treatment will involve Canalith positioning procedures, which are a special set of exercises designed to remove inner ear ‘crystals’ in BPPV. You will also be given advice on self management to prevent recurrence of the condition.

Physiotherapy treatment for BPPV and Vertigo

One of our physiotherapists Matthew Kerslake has a special interest in vertigo and has done extensive extra training. He is a true expert in the treatment of vertigo, especially BPPV. Specific symptoms include dizziness, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting and a feeling of spinning. Episodes are often short and intense and are triggered by a sudden change in the position of your head.
Your first port of call should be your GP who can run a number of tests to identify the cause of your dizziness and vertigo. If the cause is BPPV, you can ask for a referral to your physiotherapist for treatment. At Belridge Physio, we use canalith repositioning, a set of exercises that help to resolve your BPPV.
For more information on how we can help your BPPV, call us on 08 9307 2133, send us an email or Book Online today.