Have you ever felt like the world is spinning around you? Do you feel nauseated when you move too fast? Does it take a minute for you to feel stable when getting out of bed because you feel unsteady? Do you find yourself closing your eyes when you roll over because things start to move? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have positional vertigo.
Although feeling like this is scary, the good news is that positional vertigo CAN be treated effectively no matter how long you have had it. A physical therapist that has been specially trained to assess vertigo will test you to see if you might have a problem with the “level sensors” in your inner ear. These level sensors are called the semicircular canals. You have 3 of them in each side of the skull. It might sound strange but inside these canals are crystals or “rocks” and they sometimes get where they do not belong. When they are in the wrong place, and you move your head (up, down, right or left), the crystals will continue to send signals to your brain that you are moving even after you have stopped moving the head. So the brain gets 2 different messages: one from the ears saying that you are moving and one from the eyes saying that you have stopped moving. The brain is used to getting the same message from the eyes and ears and so it doesn’t know what to do with the different signals and thus it feels like you are spinning. The spinning sensation does subside usually within seconds as the brain quickly realizes that the eyes are the ones with the correct information.
Of course there are other reasons that you might be feeling vertigo, dizzy, or unsteady but positional vertigo is a very common reason. And the good news is that it can be treated quickly and easy. Nearly 80% of patients with positional vertigo only require one physical therapy treatment session.
Come in to Comstock Physical Therapy to learn more about positional vertigo and get fully assessed to see if vertigo is truly the reason that you are spinning or feeling off balance. Don’t think that you just have to live with it because it might be possible to get rid of it and be stable once again!