Vertigo is the sudden sensation that you are spinning. BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) is the most common cause of vertigo. Vertigo is only one of several different dysfunctions of your vestibular system. The vestibular system contains three semicircular canals that contain fluid and hair-like sensors that sense the rotation of your head. Otolith organs contain crystals that monitor other movements of your head in relation to gravity. Occasionally, for various different reasons, these crystals can dislodge and move into one of the semicircular canals. This causes the semicircular canal to be sensitive to head position changes which is what makes you feel dizzy or like you are spinning.
Physical therapy is a very effective treatment for BPPV. It can successfully resolve systems of vertigo 85% of the time within one or two treatment sessions. Physical therapists will complete an evaluation to determine where the crystals are located and then perform a Canalith Repositioning Procedure (CRP) in order to put the crystals back where they belong.
Physical therapy can also be effective in treating other disorders of the vestibular system including balance and spatial orientation dysfunctions, Meniere’s, Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis.