Physio: Keeping our brains in balance

One of the credentials after my name is vestibular therapist. I’m often asked what exactly that means.

The vestibular system (located in your inner ear) is responsible for sense of movement, body orientation and balance.

The vestibular system, along with our eyes, muscles and joints send constant feedback to our brain about our body’s movement and orientation.

Dysfunctions, disorders, trauma or viruses that affect the inner ear can be a potential cause of vertigo, dizziness, decreased balance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or a change in hearing. As a vestibular therapist I can assess the potential causes of the mentioned symptoms and provide treatment to help decrease dizziness, vertigo and improve balance.

Dizziness is the umbrella term that refers to a sensation of abnormal, unwanted, movement—a feeling of unsteadiness, lightheadedness or feeling ‘off.’

Vertigo is a more specific term and implies that there is a rotational component to your dizziness —either the room is spinning around you or you are spinning in the room.

Both vertigo and dizziness are symptoms, not a diagnosis, so part of my job is to figure out the possible cause and provide treatment.

As mentioned in previous articles, one of the most common conditions within the inner ear that I treat is a condition called BPPV—benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

BPPV is caused by a crystal that is free floating within the inner ear. The signs and symptoms are pretty easy to recognize (vertigo brought on when lying flat, rolling in bed, looking up to the ceiling or bending forward).

Treatment for BPPV is also quite effective.

It is also important to recognize that not all causes of vertigo or dizziness are associated with problems in the inner ear.

Cardiovascular (heart) disorders, thyroid conditions, anxiety, migraines, neck disorders/injuries and neurological conditions are all potential causes.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Teacher strike cheques in the mail
Prince Rupert LNG project delayed, others on track
Ride-sharing company Uber spooks taxi firms
‘He needs, I have.’
ELECTION 2014: ‘Future voters’ grill candidates
Living with juvenile diabetes a constant learning curve
Vision 2012: leisure then
Cowichan officials not waiting for more rain to fall
Chalk it up to honesty

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.