Dizziness is the number one reason for adults greater than 65 years old to visit a physician. With increased age there is an increase in prevalence in dizziness; however, dizziness is present in all adult populations. 42% of the adult population will experience these complaints in their lifetime, but only 15% to 30% will actually seek medical attention. Dizziness is described in many ways by those who experience such symptoms. These include lightheadedness, blurry vision, an imbalance, a weakness in the legs, headaches or vertigo. There are many possible causes for these symptoms. Two of the most common are Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and cervicogenic. These are also very treatable with physical therapy. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is identified by complaints of vertigo with positional changes such as sit to stand, rolling in bed, bending over or looking up. . In this case, crystals in the inner ear become displaced and come to rest in the semi-circular canals. The displacement of these crystals stimulates the brain in an inappropriate manner which results in vertigo. A maneuver called the Epley maneuver is performed by the physical therapist to realign the crystals in the semi-circular canals. The success rate of this maneuver is remarkable and usually only needs to be performed a single time; however, two or three times may be necessary over a week. Once the crystals become relocated through the Epley maneuver symptoms will be resolved.

Cervicogenic, on the other hand, is due to a restriction or limitation in the range of motion in the neck which effects posture and head position. Normally, the complaints of dizziness coincide with increased head movements along with neck pain. Headaches are also a common complaint. To treat cervicogenic dizziness the physical therapist will emphasize treatments to improve range of motion of the neck and promote better posture through the use of specific exercises designed to reeducate the brain to the proper postural alignment as well as strengthen the appropriate muscles needed to remain in good posture.
Vertigo and Balance Therapy
4623 Rt. 136
Greensburg, Pa 15601
(724) 853-6800
Fax (724) 853-6888
1865 Rt. 30
Ligonier, PA 15658
(724) 238-9185
Fax (724) 238-9186
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