When thinking of what kind of practitioner you should see to treat your dizziness, you may not initially think of a physical therapist, but a PT is trained in a lot of techniques to help reduce dizziness in patients suffering from Vertigo and other similar conditions.
Physical Therapy for dizziness starts with a series of questions to determine what kind of dizziness you are experiencing. Whether you describe feeling lightheaded or whether you feel the room spinning will help your therapist determine your condition and what we can do to help. Another useful thing to know is how long the dizziness lasts once it comes on. By knowing the details of your dizziness, a physical therapist can better understand what it is and how to treat it. One of the most common causes of vertigo that responds very well to physical therapy is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Your family physician may have told you about a leading cause of being dizzy.
BPPV is a condition that involves your inner-ear system not working correctly and throwing off your sense of balance. Once a therapist interviews and examines you, he or she is able to determine some positioning and movements that will improve the working condition of the inner-ear system. These treatments are very effective against this type of dizziness. 80% of patients see improvements with this treatment within 1-3 visits!
A physical therapist can also reduce dizziness in patient's suffering from symptoms associated with Meniere's disease or a condition known as vestibular hypofunction. A therapist can help reduce dizziness in these conditions by training a patient to tolerate aggravating movements by exposing patients to these motions within tolerable ranges. They also will work to challenge other parts of your balance system such as your vision and your awareness of where your body is in space.
Dizziness can be a difficult thing to live with. If persistent dizziness is a problem you are currently experiencing, contact us soon and you'll soon be on your way to a less groggy existence.
Brett Jaeger is a 3rd year physical therapy doctoral student at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions currently working on his final year of doctoral training at Sport & Spine Physical Therapy in Sauk City, WI. After his training, Brett will be moving with his wife to Boulder, CO where he will begin his career in outpatient physical therapy.
- Holmberg, J. M. Vestibular Rehabilitation: Evaluation and Treatment of Dizziness and Balance Problems. 2014.
- Sleik, C. The Hands-on Guide to Vestibular Rehabilitation Clinical Decision-Making to Treat Vertigo, Dizziness & Balance Disorders. 2016.