Is BPPV the cause of your dizziness?

Kathryn Jones PT, DPT, Cert. DN

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a very common cause of dizziness, and can be treated and resolved with physical therapy. BPPV is characterized by brief, intense, room-spinning dizziness that is triggered by position changes such as turning in bed, bending over, or looking up. It can also be accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

BPPV occurs when crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and migrate into various canals. When there is a change in head position the crystals roll through the canal and send false signals to your brain. These signals are perceived by the brain as a spinning sensation, or vertigo. The sensation lasts until the crystals settle again, which is typically less than a minute.

A physical therapist can assess your inner ear to determine if BPPV is the cause of your dizziness. Once diagnosed, they can treat it by taking you through a series of head movements, called Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers, to roll the crystals back into their proper place. It often takes 1-3 treatment sessions and is very effective at resolving BPPV.

Unfortunately, BPPV can reoccur periodically, and is more common as we age. However, a trained physical therapist can easily assess, treat, and correct the problem. Contact us today if you are feeling dizzy so that we can stop your world from spinning.