Do you feel like the room is spinning?
If you missed our first blog post on vertigo where we talked about what vertigo is and its main triggers. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the link right here:> Common Causes of Vertigo – What are Vertigo Triggers?
Let’s now delve deeper into the solutions we have available to address vertigo problems.
If you or someone you know experiences sudden and severe episodes of vertigo following certain head movements or position changes, it’s possible that they have BPPV. At our clinic, we use a 3-step approach to help patients fix this condition quickly. However, before I share the details of our approach, it’s important to understand the symptoms of BPPV. The most common signs: include dizziness, nausea, and disorientation following actions such as tipping the head back, bending forward, or getting in and out of bed.
Now, onto our approach. We’ve found that the following 3 steps are crucial to helping patients overcome BPPV:
- first, we conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose the condition and determine which type of BPPV is present.
- Next, we use a series of head maneuvers to move the crystals in the inner ear back to their proper place.
- Finally, we provide patients with exercises to help strengthen their balance and reduce the likelihood of future episodes.
By following this approach, we’ve been able to successfully treat many patients with BPPV and help them reclaim their quality of life.
A 3-Step Approach to Eliminate BPPV
To effectively treat BPPV, the first step is to determine which inner ear canal is involved. As we covered last week, BPPV occurs when tiny crystals or rocks disrupt the fluid inside the canals, causing vertigo. Each side of the body has three canals, so it’s essential to identify the affected canal(s) before proceeding with treatment. Our clinic uses two positional tests to help with this: the Dix-Hallpike test for the posterior canals, and the Supine Roll Test for the horizontal canals. During these tests, our therapists observe the patient’s eyes for involuntary movements known as “nystagmus,” as well as other symptoms of vertigo. By analyzing these results, we can pinpoint the affected canal(s) and move on to the next step in the process.
Once we’ve identified the canal(s) affected by BPPV, the next step is to clear the rocks from the canal(s). In most cases, our clients have rocks in just one canal, usually one of the posterior canals.
To address this, we use a repositioning maneuver tailored to the affected canal, with the most common one being the “Epley Maneuver.” These maneuvers involve carefully rolling the little rocks through the canal until they return to their original position, providing significant relief from vertigo.
After 2-3 repetitions of the maneuver, most clients experience a drastic reduction in vertigo symptoms. While some people may experience complete relief, others may still feel some mild unsteadiness. This brings us to the final step in our approach.
The third and final step in our approach to treating BPPV involves two key components. First, we aim to prevent the little rocks from re-entering the canals. This requires specific changes to your sleeping position, such as sleeping in a chair or with your head elevated, as well as avoiding sudden head movements that could disrupt the fluid in the canals.
Second, we focus on “tuning up” the inner ear through targeted exercises. Even after the rocks have been cleared from the canals, some clients may still experience mild unsteadiness, which can be likened to a lack of synchronization between the two inner ears. We address this by using specific vestibular exercises to help retrain the inner ear and restore clear reception of head movements. Our goal is to bring the two sides back into alignment, just like tuning a radio to the right station.
What Can you do about it ?
Someone who knows what they are doing and someone that is familiar with BPPV can help put the crystals back to where they are supposed to be.
I would recommend have an evaluation by Balance Specialty Physical Therapist who can determine if it truly is BPPV and if it is…they can help fix her issue.
At Natural Fit Therapy, our therapist work regularly with people that have BPPV and many other types of balance problems. If you have any questions about your specific balance problem please Call 512-730-0231
Natural Fit Therapy specializes in helping people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s+ stay healthy active and independent… without surgery or pain pills… even if you have been told you are just getting old!!!