Everyone is probably aware that treatment from a physical therapist may be recommended for pain due to a sports injury. You also may need treatment for lower back pain stemming from sitting at your desk all day at work. But did you know that physical therapy can also help with the sense of feeling off-balance or dizzy? This sensation, also known as vertigo, is prevalent in older adults and can emanate from multiple sources.
Regardless of the source of the ailment, treatment can be critical. If the problem persists and is left untreated, the potential for injuring yourself from a fall increases, particularly in older individuals. The approach to treating this syndrome depends on what is at the root of the symptoms.
Top Causes for Vertigo
One of the most common causes of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, also known as BPPV. This syndrome usually occurs when you have a fast change in head position, such as sitting up too quickly. Fluid buildup in your inner ear, infection and migraines can also lead to the feeling of dizziness.
Symptoms can also result from circulatory conditions like poor blood flow or a drop in blood pressure. Other sources can include anxiety, anemia, hypoglycemia, medications and neurological issues. Fortunately, there are multiple vertigo treatment options that can provide relief.
Top Medicinal Approaches
Medicinal approaches are useful to treat the underlying cause of vertigo. When there is an infection causing vertigo, it is likely that an antibiotic and steroids can help. A water pill will reduce pressure due to excessive fluid buildup in your inner ear.
If dizziness is related to migraines, medications used to treat migraines should help. Blood pressure medication is another approach if low or high blood pressure is causing the issue. If a tumor or brain injury is causing the symptoms, surgery may be required.
Top PT Vertigo Exercises
Physical therapists are an authority on movement and can help with maneuvers to relieve vertigo. The treatment plan prescribed depends on each patient’s deficiencies, and the goal is to improve those shortfalls. The physical therapist reviews your medical history and symptoms at the initial visit to determine what is needed. The assessment includes checking your gait, balance, visual stability, positional stability and neck mobility.
Your therapist works to enhance your vestibular system. This management may consist of maneuvers to train other senses to compensate for vertigo. Some leading exercises may include balance work, posture training, stretching and strengthening movements, walking exercises and general fitness activities.
They will also recommend exercises to complete at home. If vertigo occurs while doing specific chores, your physical therapist may also provide an alternative way of performing that activity.
Vertigo can be uncomfortable, maybe even debilitating. It can also create a circumstance for physical injury. However, there is no reason to suffer, and you can lower the likelihood of an injury occurring. Typically, vestibular rehabilitation is all that is needed.