Children often love the feeling of spinning around and around, making themselves dizzy enough to fall down. But when stationary adults feel the world tilt and whirl, it's no fun. This condition is called vertigo. Some people who experience vertigo deal with far more than dizzy spells. They could deal with nausea, vomiting, sweating, ringing in the ears, and difficulty walking. Read on to learn about the causes of vertigo and what can be done to treat it.
Vertigo is not a disease itself, but is a symptom of a problem in the brain, the nervous system, or the inner ear. The underlying condition can be diagnosed by a physician performing an exam and taking a medical history. The doctor will want the patient to describe his or her vertigo symptoms, describe how long he or she has been experiencing the symptoms and when they occur, whether hearing symptoms are involved (e.g., ringing in the ears or loss of hearing) and whether other neurological symptoms accompany the vertigo, such as weakness or difficulty walking or speaking.
There are tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear that can become dislodged and make a person overly sensitive to head movement. This means that something even as simple as rolling over in bed can cause dizziness. These crystals can become dislodged for a variety of reasons, and they cause the majority of vertigo symptoms. Luckily, this can be easily treated.
Physical therapy is an effective way to treat vertigo. A physical therapist, usually in one 15-minute session with a patient, can put the patient through a series of firm head movements that will move the calcium crystals back into a place where they won't cause problems. These series of maneuvers are called either the Epley maneuver or the Semont maneuver.
A physical therapist also can teach patients exercises to do at home in case one treatment in a physical therapist's office does not stop the vertigo. These exercises are similar to the movements a physical therapist would take a patient through, but they can be performed without assistance. Patients should follow the therapists recommendations for how frequent the exercises should be performed, but the typical recommendation is that they be done until the patient has experienced no vertigo for 24 hours. After performing the exercises, it is important that the patient not put his or her head into extreme angles. For more information, contact a physical therapist, like one from Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation.