What is the vestibular system?

The vestibular system sits within your ear. There are several ways in which this can become dysfunctional and cause dizziness and balance problems however this can often be helped with specialist physiotherapy which we provide at West Kirby Physiotherapy.


What can go wrong?

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is characterised typically by intermittent vertigo triggered by particular movements. It usually lasts for a few seconds or up to a minute at a time and gives the illusion that you are still moving, or that the world is moving around you.

Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis is caused by a virus which creates inflammation in either the vestibular nerve (neuritis) or the whole inner ear (labyrinthitis). This causes sudden and debilitating vertigo and may also be associated with sickness and flu like symptoms. The sufferer may be bed-bound for several days but will normally make a good recovery over 4-6 weeks.

Meniere’s is caused by pressure changes in the fluid within the inner ear. Sudden attacks of vertigo are usually accompanied by some loss of hearing. Attacks can last for hours and are unpredictable. This is a progressive disease

Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV). Often associated with headache, light and sound sensitivity and other migraine symptoms. Confusingly, it is possible to have migrainous vertigo without a headache, so this can make diagnosis difficult.


How can we help?

At West Kirby Physiotherapy, our expert physiotherapist, Tanya Huskinson will complete a thorough and detailed assessment to understand how your problem is affecting you as well as screening for any signs that the problem may be related to the nervous, or circulatory systems, rather than the inner ear.

In this case, we would recommend and help facilitate further investigation through your GP before commencing any physiotherapy.

If it is clear that the problem is vestibular, we will explain and discuss with you the various interventions that may be helpful.

Depending on the results of your assessment, these may include manual therapy for your neck, specific manoeuvres aimed at improving vertigo, eye and head exercises, balance exercises and advice on how best to manage your symptoms.


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