Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: Symptoms and Treatments

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a vestibular disorder characterized by episodes of vertigo. BPPV symptoms are often triggered by changes in head position, such as when lying down or turning over in bed.

If you think that you suffer from BPPV, this article will help you understand more about the condition, its symptoms, and how it is treated. Find out more!

man suffering from BPPV. great northern physical therapyWhat Causes BPPV?

The most common cause of BPPV is debris that has become lodged in one of the semicircular canals of the inner ear. This debris, known as “otoconia,” is normally found in the utricle, a part of the inner ear responsible for detecting changes in gravity. Otoconia are calcium carbonate crystals that are normally too large to enter the semicircular canals. However, they can become dislodged and enter the canals when the head is moved suddenly, or trauma to the head occurs.

Most Common BPPV Symptoms

Many people with BPPV experience episodes of vertigo. Changes in their head position usually trigger these spinning sensations. For example, you may feel dizzy when you lie down or turn over in bed.

The most common BPPV symptoms include:

  • Dizziness

  • Vertigo

  • Loss of balance

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Visual disturbances

Is There Any Treatment for BPPV?

The good news is that BPPV can be treated effectively with vestibular physical therapy. This therapy includes exercises that help to move the otoconia out of the semicircular canals and back into the utricle where they belong.

Most people who receive treatment for BPPV see a significant improvement in their symptoms within a few weeks. While BPPV can recur, it is usually not a chronic condition.

If you think you may be suffering from BPPV, talk to your doctor about getting a diagnosis and beginning treatment. With the help of vestibular physical therapy, you can get back to living your life without fear of dizzy spells.

Say Goodbye to Vestibular Disorders With Great Northern Physical Therapy!

At Great Northern Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists will help you overcome BPPV and other vestibular disorders. We offer a wide range of services, including vestibular rehabilitation, balance training, etc.

We are dedicated to helping our patients live their best lives free from dizziness and vertigo. Don’t let BPPV control your life; call us today to schedule a consultation!

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Breathing and Your Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is certainly a hot topic of conversation for many men and women. Specifically, people begin to focus on their pelvic floor when they are having incontinence, urgency/frequency, prolapse, or pain associated with going to the bathroom or having sex. These are all issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction. But, what many don’t realize, is that your pelvic floor is also integral in one of our most basic functions: breath.

The diaphragm, our respiratory muscle, is located at the bottom of the ribcage. At rest, the diaphragm is a domelike shape, and with inhalation the diaphragm muscle contracts and drops downward toward your pelvis. This downward motion is followed by a shifting downward of internal organs, into the pelvic bowl. The pelvic floor muscles and fascia make up the bottom of the pelvic bowl. So, with this downward force during inhalation, the pelvic floor muscles also descend or stretch slightly downward. Immediately following inhalation and pelvic floor descent, is exhalation, and similarly, the pelvic floor follows the diaphragm as it rises upward to a resting position. This synchronous rising and falling of the diaphragm and pelvic floor is often referred to as the “piston effect”.

Not to be left out, the lower abdominal muscles (transverse abdominis) also contribute to this synchronous movement pattern. Working together by relaxing and stretching with inhalation and a “belly breath”, and tightening and drawing inward slightly with exhalation. In this way, the diaphragm, abdominals, and pelvic floor make up an abdominal cylinder that modulates intra-abdominal forces and pressure changes.

When this cylinder isn’t coordinating well together, or if there is tightness or weakness within the system, we see common musculoskeletal complaints: low back pain, SIJ pain, poor stability through the back and pelvis, hip pain, pelvic pain, incontinence, urgency/frequency of urine or stool, prolapse, poor posture, balance issues, and intolerance to exercise.

Our pelvic floor physical therapists can help evaluate these movement patterns and coordination of these systems, and create a treatment approach specific to you and your individual challenges.