Vertigo affects millions of people in the United States. Those who suffer from it experience disturbing, nauseating sensations that make even simple acts like getting out of bed extremely uncomfortable. Worse still, vertigo throws off your body’s natural sense of balance, increasing your risk of falling while performing basic activities. How can you tell if you or a loved one suffers from this common condition, and more importantly, what can you do to fight it?
What Causes Vertigo?
The most common form of vertigo is caused by damage or decay in the inner ear. Specifically, bits of calcium can break off within the closed circuit of the vestibular system, the part of the ear that helps control balance and eye movements. Trauma can cause this breakage to occur, but so can aging. As the head moves, these loose bits of calcium roll around, stimulating the nerves our bodies use for balance. These false signals confuse the brain, producing a host of unpleasant sensations.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of vertigo are most apparent while moving, especially when shifting between standing and lying down. If you frequently experience any of the following symptoms after shifting positions, you may have a form of vertigo:
A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving
A loss of balance or unsteadiness
Because of the difficulties of living an active life with these sensations, secondary symptoms, like anxiety or depression, are common.
What Can Be Done?
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, or VRT, has been proven to help treat vertigo. This specialized form of physical therapy takes a holistic approach that addresses both the symptoms and the root cause of vertigo. Through a series of exercises, mind and body are trained to compensate for the vestibular damage. At first, this can make the symptoms feel much worse. But through expert training, patients soon develop far greater control and feel improvement on all fronts.
If you or a loved one suffers from vertigo or other vestibular disorders please reach out to us. We can give you an assessment and the tools you need to stop the spinning, headaches, falling, or dizziness.
Rue and Primavera Occupational and Physical Therapy