What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?
First of all lets break down the name:
- Benign meaning that it is not life-threatening
- Paroxysmal referring to the symptoms coming and going
- Positional as symptoms are brought about in specific positions
- Vertigo referring to the feeling of the room spinning
BPPV is a mechanical issue of the inner ear. BPPV is caused by the crystals being dislodged into the semi-circular canal. This results in incorrect signals being sent to the brain and results in vertigo. This can occur idiopathically (randomly) or can occur following a trauma to the head such as a car crash.
What are the symptoms of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?
- Dizziness – seconds after a head movement and not lasting for longer than a minute
- Light headedness
- Balance Problems
Management of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?
The Physiotherapist will first identify which canal is affected by the crystals. Once identified the Physiotherapist will perform a technique that aims to move the crystals back to their correct position and results in less ‘dodgy’ firing of the vestibulocochlear nerve. This technique can sometimes take anywhere between 1-5 regular attempts.
After identifying which canals are affected your therapist will prescribe a technique (Epley’s manoeuvre) that dislodges the crystals and allows a normal vestibular function. This will result in less ‘dodgy firing’ of the vestibulocochlear nerve a reduce the symptoms.
Set in Motion Physiotherapy