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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, BPPV, Vertigo, Dizziness, Inner Ear Disorder, Otoconia, Neck Or Jaw Conditions, Imove, I'move, Physical Therapy Near Me, Physical Therapist, Vestibular Systems, Vestibular Conditions

The 101 on Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Have you ever experienced dizziness or a spinning sensation when you change positions, such as rolling over in bed or looking up? If so, you may be suffering from a common condition known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV is a condition characterized by dizziness associated with head movement.

Causes of BPPV can range from inner ear disorders to neck or jaw conditions. BPPV originating in the inner ear is a type of vertigo that occurs when tiny calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) in the inner ear become dislodged and float into the fluid-filled canals responsible for balance. This blog will provide an overview of BPPV, its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Otoconia are normally embedded in a gel-like substance called the cupula, which helps to sense head movements and maintain balance. When these crystals become dislodged, they disrupt the normal flow of fluid and send false signals to the brain about your body’s position in space.

The main symptom of BPPV is brief episodes of intense vertigo triggered by changes in head position. These episodes typically last less than a minute but can be very unsettling and cause feelings of nausea. Other common symptoms include lightheadedness, imbalance, and difficulty focusing. BPPV is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 60 but can occur at any age. It is also more common in women than men.

Diagnosing BPPV typically involves a physical exam by a healthcare provider specializing in vestibular disorders. The Dix-Hallpike maneuver is often used to provoke symptoms by moving the patient’s head into specific positions while observing their eye movements for signs of nystagmus (involuntary eye movements). A thorough examination will include neck and jaw assessment as it too may cause vertigo symptoms. Additional tests such as electronystagmography (ENG) or videonystagmography (VNG) may also be performed to assess eye movements during positional changes.

Physical Therapy treatment options for BPPV focus on neck mobility and dysfunction and repositioning maneuvers designed to move the displaced crystals out of the affected semicircular canal and back into their proper position within the inner ear. The Epley maneuver is one such technique that involves a series of head movements performed under the guidance of a trained physical therapist. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms such as nausea or dizziness associated with BPPV.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo can be a challenging condition to live with due to its unpredictable nature and disruptive symptoms. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, many individuals see significant improvement in their symptoms and quality of life. If you suspect you may have BPPV, it is essential to seek evaluation from a medical professional who specializes in vestibular disorders to receive an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs. Don’t let vertigo hold you back from enjoying life – take control of your health and seek help today!

Schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists today to get started on your journey to being pain-free!

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