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Denver Physical Therapy Options Got You Dizzy?

May 11, 2016

Vertigo can debilitate. That stomach-churning feeling one gets when the world starts swirling around might be funny when your tipsy friend falls down, but when that dizziness affects one on a constant or unpredictably frequent basis, it’s time for treatment. Denver wellness centers offer an array of vestibular therapy options. You’ll need to work with your therapist to decide what suits you best.

Vestibular therapy helps people regain control over their lives by treating those body systems related to balance: vision, inner ear, and sensors in the joints. When the brain received conflicting information from those systems or cannot integrate and react properly, dizziness or vertigo results.

Common causes of vertigo can amount to:
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) occurs when tiny calcium particles clump within the inner ear. There is no known cause and it can strike at any age.
  • Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis is an inner ear problem related to infection causing inflammation in the inner ear around the nerves important for balance.
  • Meniere’s disease, thought to be caused by a build-up of fluid in the inner ear which causes a change of pressure, is identified by tinnitus and hearing loss in addition to vertigo.
Vertigo may also be caused by a head or neck injury, strokes or brain tumors, medications that cause ear damage, and migraine headaches. Of treatments for vertigo, options include vestibular rehabilitation (a type of physical therapy), canalith repositioning maneuvers, medication, and surgery.

You may not be sure whether your bouts of dizziness warrant a trip to the doctor. In fact, there are times when vertigo justifies not only medical attention, but emergency medical attention. It’s suggest that you call for transport to the emergency room if you experience:
  • A sudden onset of symptoms
  • Double vision
  • Headache
  • Weakness in the arms and legs
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fever
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Altered level of consciousness
  • Difficulty walking or lack of coordination
  • Nausea.
Various home remedies exist for treating vertigo. These may include the performance of specific exercises, vitamin D supplements, and certain herbal remedies and essential oils. Acupuncture has also been claimed to provide relief. Experts advise that those suffering from dizziness avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine--anything which can affect circulation.

If your doctor prescribed vestibular rehabilitation therapy, you can expect to engage in specific physical exercises designed to reduce vertigo, gaze instability, and imbalance. Vestibular damage can be permanent, but specialized therapy can help people feel better and function through compensation. Compensation is the result of training the brain to use other senses to substitute for the deficient system(s).

The Vestibular Disorders Association identifies three common treatments within vestibular rehabilitation therapy:
  • Habituation exercises. These are prescribed for patients who report increased dizziness when they move around, especially when changing position (e.g., sitting to standing), or when they are in visually stimulating environments (e.g., walking over patterned flooring, anywhere there are many flashing advertisements).
  • Gaze stabilization exercises. This type of physical therapy is used to improve control of eye movements so vision can be clear during head movement. Gaze stabilization best suits those whose vision seems to show the world bouncing or jumping around them when reading or trying to identify objects.
  • Balance training exercises. A program of exercises is mapped out to improve the patient’s steadiness and reduce falling incidents. These exercises manipulate visual and/or somatosensory cues, stationary objects, coordinated movements, dual tasking.
The treatments above do not address all causes and symptoms of vertigo. Cherry Creek Wellness Center will work with your physician and you to develop a specialized physical therapy regimen to help you return to a fully functioning lifestyle. With five locations in the greater Denver area, we’re convenient for you. Call us at (303) 333-3493 to schedule an appointment.