To understand vertigo the most important thing to be able to understand the anatomy of the vestibular system. This system consists of three semicircular canals located in the inner ear on the right and left side of your head. This is why vertigo is commonly referred to as an “inner ear issue.” Within these canals are a system of hairs, fluid, and crystals. As we rotate our head, these three structures work simultaneously to let your head know where it is in space. For example, if we turn our head to the left, the fluid within our vestibular system on the left and right will activate the hairs and crystals and let your brain know that you are turning to the left. As you can guess, when this system doesn’t work properly, it can lead to some nasty side effects that are debilitating to living a healthy lifestyle.
It’s important to note that when discussing vertigo, it is often a symptom of something else going on within your vestibular system. To put it in orthopedic terms, think of vertigo as pain as a result of spraining your ankle. The pain in this situation is debilitating and can affect your daily life, but it is not the main issue of what is going on in your body; that would be the actual ankle sprain. The same is true of vertigo. It’s not often the vertigo that we need to address, it’s the issue impacting the vestibular system. In this post the syndrome we’ll be discussing is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV for short.
BPPV is by far the most common type of vertigo that I personally see in the clinic. This vestibular issue is positional based, meaning if you’re changing your position, you can have a bout of dizziness or feeling like the room is spinning. Examples of this can range from changing from a seated position to laying down or going to a standing position from a seated position, and much more. This happens because with BPPV, there is a miscommunication between the crystals of the vestibular system and the rest of the system. These crystals have either become dislodged from the canals, or they are adhering to another structure in the vestibular system that is causing a miscommunication. As a result, your brain is receiving incorrect information about its position and is trying to course correct which causes these symptoms of vertigo and dizziness. Here’s the good news, BPPV can be easily treated, and the results happen sooner than you may think.
BPPV can be a debilitating condition that can drastically impact how you go about your daily life. With vestibular therapy, these symptoms can be resolved extremely quickly, even within a few visits. At Full Range, we are happy to offer these services to you at our West Chester Clinic.
Schedule an appointment today with our certified vestibular therapist to help treat your vertigo symptoms.