There are several reasons for vertigo, and all of them suck, but positional vertigo is a common type of dizziness that can be treated with a simple maneuver.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the medical term for positional vertigo. BPPV is caused when tiny stones in the inner ear are dislodged from the sticky cushion where they usually sit, and travel into the semicircular canals, which determine our perception of three-dimensional space. When these stones are trapped in the semicircular canal, it gives your brain the wrong message about your body position, and creates a false sense of motion.
If the stone is dislodged on the left side, when you turn your head to the left you would experience extreme vertigo that lasts several seconds to one minute, then settles until the next time your head turns to the left.
In 1979, Dr. John Epley discovered a maneuvre that could treat most cases of BPPV without medication, and is essentially placing the head and body in certain positions to get the stone out of the semicircular canal and back onto its sticky pad in the inner ear. The Epley maneuvre is a series of head and body movements that try to reposition the stone out of the semicircular canal and back onto its sticky pad in the inner ear. Once back in place, the stone will no longer cause the symptoms of vertigo. Some patients can be trained to perform the maneuver at home.
It is important that other causes of vertigo are ruled out before trying the Epley maneuvre, such as inner ear infections, migraine, neck issues, and multiple sclerosis. Once BPPV has been determined to be the cause of vertigo, then it is often very treatable with postural correction and the Epley maneuvre.
At Elevation Physiotherapy, we can help with vertigo from BPPV or neck issues. Let us help you get better, faster.