Tom Cooper explains Vertigo and the importance of seeing a qualified professional to manage your vertigo properly:
Not all vertigo is created equally and not all vertigo is treated in the same way. There are lots of different causes of vertigo and treatment needs to be tailored to the indiviual based on the source of vertigo, duration and severity of symptoms. A thorough assessment is paramount to planning out your rehab and optimising your recovery.
Benign Paroxysmal Postional Vertigo or BPPV, is the most common cause of vertigo (Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, 2014). It is usualy experienced as short periods of feeling like you are spinning lasting up to 60 seconds ( however nausea may last longer). This is due to calcium bicarbonate cyrstals called Otoconia being dislodged from their usual location in the inner ear.
The Epley Manouvere is commonly prescribed as a treatment technique done in the clinic and prescribed as part of a self treatment program at home. This involves lying the patient down quickly with their head rotated to the affected side and proceeding to move through a series of rolls with the aim to reposition those otoconia back into their correct position. Hilton & Pinder (2014) conducted a meta-analysis of all the research available and found that the Epley Manouvere was safe and highly effective at treating BPPV when compared with placebo or no treatment. Performing the Epley for BPPV was found to more effective at providing more immediate relief of symptoms compared with other types of vestibular rehab exercises, but when Epley exercises were combined with other vestibular rehab exercises, patient’s had better long term outcomes (McDonnell & HIlier, 2015).
Other causes of vertigo such as Vestribular Neuritis (inflammation of the inner ear and vestibular nerve), Menieres Disease (autoimmune condition affecting the ear) or Vestibular Migraine will not respond to the Epley Manouvere as the underlying cause of the vertigo is not related to dispalced otoconia. See our previous blog post on Vestibular Migraines and what is involved with treatment for this other common cause of vertigo.
This emphasises the point that correct diagnosis and prescription of effective treatment for your condition are at is essential for optimal recovery. This is something we pride ourselves on here at Inner North Physiotherapy.
If you or someone you know is struggling with vertigo, don’t let it persist. Come in for an assessment and get started on your recovery today.
References:Hilton M.P. & Pinder D.K. (2014) The epley (canalith repositioning) manoeuvre for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 12.
McDonnell M.N. & Hillier S.L. (2015) Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 1
Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. (2014) Balance Disorders. https://www.eyeandear.org.au/page/Health_Professionals/Knowledge_Portal/ENT/Balance/
Tom and a number of our other Physios have done special training to assess and manage vertigo.