What is Vertigo And How It Can Be Treated by a Physiotherapist?

Margharita Cirillo, MPT, Physiotherapist, discusses what is vertigo and how it can be treated.

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Margharita Cirillo, MPT, Physiotherapist, discusses what is vertigo and how it can be treated.
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Video transcript

Featuring Margharita Cirillo, MPT, Physiotherapist

Duration: 2 minutes, 20 seconds

So dizziness is a symptom that’s often described as feeling lightheaded, or off balance, or wavy as if you're on a boat, while vertigo is a symptom that is described as if the world is spinning around you.

This can be a bit of a scary experience because it may come about suddenly or without warning as you're going about your everyday routine or it may happen after a traumatic injury such as a concussion or a car accident.

There are several different causes for dizziness and vertigo.They may be due to cardiovascular, neurological, or visual dysfunction, but also commonly what we see is that it’s related to issues with the inner ear or of the neck.

It’s very important, however, if you're experiencing any more serious symptoms for example double vision, hearing loss, difficulty speaking or swallowing, or sudden falls or difficult with balance or walking. This may indicate a more serious pathology and requires immediate attention by your medical doctor or emergency room physician.

The most common cause for vertigo related to the inner ear is a condition called BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. So people with BPPV tend to experience vertigo or nausea with positional changes.

A good place to start if you're looking to treat your dizziness or vertigo is to seek help from your local physiotherapist particularly one who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation.

So they’ll take a detailed history and perform and assessment that may involve looking your general posture and movement patterns as well as specific testing of balance, coordination, gait, stability, and positional tests in order to rule in or out the inner ear.

If BPPV is determined as the cause for your vertigo the Epley maneuver is an example of an effective technique in which we reposition the head in order to reposition the crystals that are dislodged within your inner ear. The goals of this are to help you regain your normal balance and coordination and hopefully to prevent this from reoccurring in the future.

Presenter: Ms. Margherita Cirillo, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.