Balance disorder therapy addresses those conditions that cause dizziness or unsteadiness when standing, sitting or lying down.
Balance disorders are a common cause of falls, especially for older patients. These conditions may develop due to medication, head injury or chronic health problems, particularly neurological and inner ear disorders. Patients who experience balance disorders may become disoriented and fearful, and are frequently unable to perform the tasks of daily living.
In Midvale and throughout northern Utah, Mountain View Physical Therapy provides comprehensive therapeutic treatment for patients with BPPV, Meniere’s disease and other vestibular disorders.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV), a specific type of mechanical problem in the inner ear, is one of the most common types of vestibular disorder.
BPPV causes a false sense of motion that is triggered by specific movements or head positioning. These episodes onset suddenly and without warning, and although they are highly disorienting, they are not life-threatening.
This condition is unfortunately common and can strike otherwise healthy patients of any age. Although vertigo itself is not life-threatening, the injuries that can result may be. BPPV significantly increases a patient’s risk of falling, which can be devastating, especially for older patients.
Causes of Vertigo & Balance Disorders
Balance disorders occur due to a mechanical problem within the inner ear.
The inner ear — specifically a canal known as the utricle — naturally contains a layer of calcium carbonate. Small particles may break off, forming tiny crystals known otoconia or “ear rocks.” When these ear rocks migrate to another portion of the inner ear, they stimulate the sensitive nerve endings in those areas, which results in dizziness.
The reason for otoconia formation remains unknown; however, it may occur from mild head trauma or infection. This condition can be hereditary, and it is much more common in women than in men.
Treating Balance Disorders
Patients should see their doctor first for a diagnostic evaluation, specifically to rule out other potential causes of their symptoms. Traditional treatments often involve medication and even surgery. However, medication is not effective (it may, in fact, be harmful) and surgical intervention should only be considered as a last resort.
Most patients (more than 90 percent) experience full resolution of their BPPV symptoms when balance disorder therapy is used. These treatments involve specific head and neck maneuvers, designed to reposition the displaced crystals in the inner ear.
It is important to note that these maneuvers are not similar to chiropractic adjustments. Instead, they involve a series of simple body positions designed to move the otoconia back where they belong.
If you are experiencing vertigo from BPPV or another vestibular disorder, contact Mountain View Physical Therapy today to schedule a consultation for balance disorder therapy.