The most common cause of vertigo is BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. This is a disorder of the inner ear characterized by repeated episodes of positional vertigo, meaning that the spinning dizziness is triggered by sudden head positions or movements. It can affect your balance, safety, and ability to function.
We all have crystals of calcium carbonate in a specific part of our inner ear that function in our sense of balance and body motion. BPPV is caused by these crystals coming loose and moving into a different part of the inner ear, the semicircular canals, where they are not supposed to be. This can trigger the brain to think that the body is violently spinning with just a simple head movement, such as looking up or rolling over in bed.
Episodes of severe dizziness usually last less than one minute, but can be triggered with movements for weeks to months. Between episodes, some people feel symptom-free, while others feel a sense of imbalance or disequilibrium. If you are suffering from these symptoms, a Physical Therapist specializing in Vestibular Disorders can help!
“I have lived with motion sickness in a variety of settings for my entire life. I never knew that PT could help, but it has! This will allow me to enjoy many more activities in life. If you get motion sickness, try PT. Don’t wait 43 years like I did.” -RT