Sudden Onset of Dizziness – BPPV

A sudden onset of dizziness may be caused by a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (which is a fair old mouth-full to say, so we tend to shorten it to BPPV).  If this is what is causing your dizziness then a physiotherapist may be able to help you and in some cases completely alleviate your symptoms.  When you’re dizzy a physiotherapist isn’t usually the first person you would think could help you, so it’s a real shame that many people miss out on effective treatment.  Hence the point of this blog!

What is BPPV?

Inside the inner ear are three semi-circular canals filBPPV Dizzinessled with fluid that help your brain determine what position your head is in and whether it is moving or not.  BPPV occurs when small calcium carbonate crystals (called Otoliths) find their way into these canals from another part of the inner ear causing the inner ear to send the brain false information –  which results in dizziness.  Most people complain of dizziness and nausea when rolling over in bed or looking up, some people are symptom free when still but other report a feeling of light-headedness.  It often comes on for no know reason but is known to be more common after flying in an aeroplane, an inner infection, head trauma or if you have diabetes.

How does Physio help?

Your physiotherapist can conduct the Epley’s Manouver, which is a series of movements  involving the head and body that move the crystals back through the canals to where they will no longer cause interference.  This takes about 10 minutes to complete.  In most cases either one or two treatments should be enough to relocate the crystals and relieve symptoms.

If you think you have BPPV book into to see one of our physio’s now by clicking here.  Please note that there can be many causes of dizziness and if you do not respond to treatment you will be referred on to your GP.



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