Head shake that heals

If you feel like your head is spinning, it might not just be the arrival of your Christmas shopping credit card bill.

If you feel like your head is spinning, it might not just be the arrival of your Christmas shopping credit card bill.

Do you feel dizzy when you lie flat in bed? Does your head spin when you roll from side to side in bed? What happens when you bend forward or look up to the ceiling? Do any of these movements make you dizzy? If you say yes to any of these questions, you may have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo—BPPV.

It is estimated that one in every five people will develop vertigo in their lifetime. The most common cause is a condition in the inner ear which occurs when there is ‘debris’—a calcium carbonate crystal—which has been displaced within the inner ear. The presence of this displaced crystal can disturb one’s balance and equilibrium, and sense of motion. This disturbance is created when the crystal overstimulates or influences hair cells that are responsible for relaying head movement to the brain, thus resulting in vertigo.

These crystals are naturally occurring in the inner ear but they are attached to a specific structure and not free floating. There are multiple causes for the crystals to be displaced but, more often, it tends to be spontaneous. Other causes can include trauma (fall, hit to the head, whiplash), high dose antibiotics, age and extreme changes in barometric pressure.

Most of my patients with BPPV report episodes of dizziness with certain positions. Most commonly it is lying flat in bed, rolling over in bed, getting up in the morning, looking up to the ceiling and bending forward. They also report that avoiding these positions allows them to function pretty well during the day. Some say they have experienced previous attacks, either months or years prior.

Treatment for this condition is very effective. It consists of ‘repositioning’ the crystal in the inner ear. This is done through a series of head and body positions, guided by the physiotherapist, which will move the crystals away from the sensitive hair cells within the inner ear. Improvement is almost immediate.

Although BPPV accounts for a large percentage of vertigo, it is not the only cause. Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist certified in vestibular rehabilitation if you have similar symptoms, or think you may have BPPV.

For more information about vertigo and dizziness related disorders, attend a free lecture at Sun City Physiotherapy on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 6:30pm. Call 250-861-8056 to reserve your seat.

Robina Palmer is a physiotherapist certified in vestibular therapy.

rpalmer

@suncityphysiotherapy.com

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

West Kelowna candidates discuss new city hall

This week learn about how your candidates feel about a new city hall in West Kelowna

Science teachers converge on Kelowna for conference

Exposing new instructional classroom tools for science teachers

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Cough cough: Kelowna MLA gets flu shot to prep for the cold season

Steve Thomson got his flu shot from Lakeside Medicine Centre Friday

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Black trucks figure prominently in Shuswap thefts

Chase RCMP investigating stolen vehicles from several communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Most Read