Vertigo is the sensation that you and the environment around you are spinning or moving. It’s not a disease or condition itself but a symptom of some health problem. Vertigo is a common occurrence. For example, around 40% of Americans experienced vertigo at least once in their lifetime. Even though it’s a common problem, vertigo can be quite uncomfortable. Scroll down to see how to manage vertigo and what is the role of Prosynergy.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is often used as a synonym for lightheadedness, but it’s not the same. While vertigo is an overall spinning sensation, lightheadedness is the feeling of being dizzy, foggy, or unsteady.
There are two main types of vertigo:
- Central vertigo: occurs due to problems with the brain, especially in the cerebellum
- Peripheral vertigo: usually results from problems with the inner ear or the vestibular nerve
- A wide range of health problems can cause vertigo. Some of the most common causes are:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): the sudden sensation that you or the inside of the head is spinning. BPPV causes brief episodes of vertigo and is usually triggered by changes in the head’s position.
- Cholesteatoma: an abnormal collection of skin cells inside the ear.
- Labyrinthitis: inner ear infection that affects hearing and balance.
- Meniere’s disease: a disorder of the inner ear that causes vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. It usually affects one ear only.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord.
- Orthostatic hypotension: also known as postural hypotension, is a type of low blood pressure that occurs when standing after lying down or sitting.
- Vestibular neuritis: inflammation of the vestibular nerve (located in the inner ear and serves to send messages to the brain).
- In addition to the abovementioned causes, vertigo can also result from stroke, migraines, diabetes, arrhythmia, shingles in or near the ear, hyperventilation, ataxia (muscle weakness), syphilis, ear surgery, some medications, among other things.
Vertigo attack usually lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. They can last for hours, days, or longer in severe cases.
Most people experience vertigo at one point or another, but if it becomes recurrent or severe, make sure to see your doctor. Persistent vertigo isn’t something to ignore. The doctor will order necessary tests to diagnose the underlying health problem that causes vertigo.
While everyone can develop this problem, people over the age of 65 years are at a higher risk. Women are more likely to get vertigo than men.
Symptoms of Vertigo
Vertigo itself is a symptom of a wide range of health problems. Sometimes vertigo is accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- Balance problems
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Nystagmus (eyes uncontrollably move side to side)
- Feeling of fullness in ear/hearing loss in one ear
- Motion sickness
Central vertigo is associated with symptoms such as double vision, facial paralysis, difficulty swallowing, weak limbs, and slurred speech.
How is vertigo treated?
Treatment of vertigo depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, a healthcare provider recommends medications such as some antihistamines and prochlorperazine, which help in the early stages of most vertigo cases. For vertigo caused by infection, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
In cases when the main cause of vertigo is a problem related to the inner ear, the patient may need vestibular rehabilitation, a therapy that includes exercises that help patients manage balance problems and dizziness. The therapy promotes vestibular adaptation and substitution and helps strengthen other senses so patients can compensate for vertigo attacks.
People with BPPV may need a canalith repositioning procedure to push calcium deposits into an ear chamber so the body can absorb them.
Sometimes the cause of vertigo is a serious health problem such as a brain tumor or injury of the neck. In these cases, the main treatment method is surgery.
Having a healthy lifestyle can be helpful in managing factors that contribute to vertigo. Keep in mind there is no foolproof home remedy that eliminates this problem on its own.
Advantages of treatment with Prosynergy PT
Experienced physical therapists at Prosynergy PT employ a patient-centric approach to help people with various problems, including vertigo. The cornerstone of the treatment of vertigo at Prosynergy PT is vestibular rehabilitation.
This therapy helps manage symptoms of dizziness, including imbalance. At the very beginning, a physical therapist will also need to evaluate a patient’s strength and flexibility of arms and legs and gait, i.e., how they walk.
The duration of vertigo treatment at Prosynergy PT depends on the severity of the symptoms, the underlying cause, and how a patient responds to therapy and exercises. Some people experience notable improvements in a few sessions only, whereas others need more than that.
The main benefits of treatment with Prosynergy PT include the following:
- Patient-centric approach
- Improved balance
- Experienced physical therapists
- Better results with combined ergonomic training, balance training, and strengthening exercises
- Lower risk of falling
- Reduced intensity of dizziness
- Increased body strength
- Improved ability to stabilize vision
The biggest advantage of treatment with Prosynergy PT and vestibular rehabilitation is safety. Patients can work on their recovery without experiencing side effects or other setbacks. Most importantly, it’s a medication-free approach to treating vertigo. For that reason, treating vertigo at Prosynergy PT is particularly beneficial for people who want to solve their problem in a manner that doesn’t revolve around taking pills unless absolutely necessary.
Vertigo is a common problem but still poorly understood. People confuse it with lightheadedness, but it’s more than that. Vertigo feels like the surroundings are spinning. It’s not a disease, but it can be a symptom or consequence of some medical problem. For persistent or severe vertigo, you need to see a doctor. The treatment of vertigo depends on the underlying cause. Prosynergy PT offers a comprehensive program that relies on vestibular rehabilitation to improve symptoms of vertigo and a person’s quality of life.