Vertigo can be debilitating for those who have it. Vertigo is severe dizziness and imbalance, usually associated with a feeling of constant movement or “the spins” when standing or even lying still. People with vertigo often experience nausea. If severe enough, vomiting or falling when attempting to stand or walk can occur.
Daily life can be affected when experiencing vertigo. Many people with severe vertigo have difficulty even getting out of bed because they have “the spins.” The world can feel like it’s moving under them – like they are on a merry-go-round – and they can have trouble walking. Due to the risk of falling, this is especially dangerous for seniors. In less severe cases, imbalance is still an issue. Some may experience a mild disturbance in vision or blurriness and difficulty with quick movements. Some have headaches, difficulty concentrating, neck pain and even eye pain.
While anti-nausea medication and rest can help, there are ways to treat vertigo without medication. Vertigo can be helped with physical therapy. BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), commonly described as having “loose crystals in the inner ear,” is the most common type of treated with physical therapy. Vertigo can also be caused by concussion, eye problems, motion sensitivity sickness, inner ear weakness, neck pain, Meniere’s, and infection, all of which can be helped by physical therapy. In the case of BPPV, typically only 2-5 visits, or 1-3 weeks of physical therapy are needed. Outside of BPPV, 4-6 weeks is the common length of treatment. These time frames depend on the case severity and impact.
If left untreated, vertigo-related nausea and spinning can sometimes resolve on its own and with medications, however some balance impairments may remain. Even if your vertigo symptoms resolve, balance impairments can cause falls, which can lead to serious injury and complications. Most people are able to get their balance back to normal with guidance and specific exercises in therapy.
Don’t let vertigo affect your life. Our physical therapists at Momentum Physical Therapy are here to help you get back to feeling better and balanced.