Dizziness and vertigo explained
Dizziness and vertigo are disorienting feelings that frequently create feelings of anxiety. There are many things that can cause dizziness but the good news is that a lot of dizziness conditions can be helped with treatment and rehabilitation.
What's the difference between dizziness and vertigo?
Dizziness is one of the most common reasons why someone will visit the doctor’s office. 70% of people are likely to experience dizziness at some stage in their lives and it is estimated that 15% of the population has dizziness with the prevalence increasing with an increase in age.
The sensation of dizziness can be described in many ways such as a light headedness, rocking, swaying, on a boat, off balance etc while vertigo is the sensation that either you or the room is spinning.
Dizziness and vertigo can be intermittent (this means they may come and go) or they may be constant. Depending on the cause, different things can aggravate the dizziness. Paying attention to what may aggravate or ease your symptoms will be helpful in narrowing down an accurate diagnosis.
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Vestibular neuritis
Clinical consultation with an osteopath
Dizziness and vertigo conditions require a practitioner to have additional training and experience to diagnose and treat these conditions, therefore ensuring that your practitioner has advanced training and experience in the field of dizziness is important in helping you achieve your results.
During a consultation with an osteopath for dizziness they will take a thorough case history to help narrow down what may be the cause of your dizziness.
Some assessments that may be performed include but are not limited to:
- BPPV assessment
- Vestibular assessment screening and tests
- Balance tests
- Gait assessment
- Neck and jaw assessment
Osteopathic approach to treatment
Treatment will depend on the cause of your dizziness or vertigo as different conditions require different treatments. This may, for example, include:
- Epley Manoeuvre, Brandt Daroff Manoeuvre or other BPPV manoeuvres
- Vestibular rehabilitation exercises, such as gaze stabilisation exercises
- Balance exercises
- Hands-on treatment of the neck, jaw, shoulders and upper back, as required
Over the course of treatment, you should see a correlation between your exercises and your symptoms. As your exercises improve and progress, your symptoms should also improve.
If you are improving with your exercises but your symptoms do not change, then treatment may need to be altered to better address your condition.
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy involves clinical care of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, which is made up of the bones, muscles, nerves and other tissues that support your body and control its movements.
Osteopaths treat more than bones. Tell us where it hurts and find out how osteos may be able to help you so you can get on and do the things you love.