Dizziness


Dizziness is a common problem for patients to encounter. What is often not known is that physiotherapists can have a key role in the assessment and treatment of it.

The most common types of dizziness that physiotherapists treat are those arising from the neck and the ears (vestibular system).

1. Neck Dizziness

Neck, or cervicogenic dizziness can occur due to issues relating to the muscles/joints in the neck. The muscle/joints in the neck have receptors that provide information to the brain on where our head is positioned. Dysfunction in these muscle/joints secondary to pain or injury can result in dizziness. Specific physiotherapy assessment and management via exercises and/or manual therapy can be effective to assist in resolving the dizziness.

2. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV occurs when tiny particles in the balance centre of the ear(s) interfere with the signals that the ears provide our brain in relation to whether our head is moving or not. The end result being often the brain thinks the head is moving or spinning when it is actually not!

Pleasingly this condition can be accurately diagnosed with some simple tests, and can also be effectively treated via physiotherapy and home exercises.

3. Vestibular Nerve Injury

This can occur after trauma or illness and can in many cases be permanent. Pleasingly the body's balance system has a capacity to compensate/improve in other areas. This can be achieved by appropriate exercise programs once the correct diagnosis is made.

Whilst the 3 examples above are common causes of dizziness/vertigo there are also other causes that can be identified and treated by physiotherapy.

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