Benign: because it is easy to fix
Paroxysmal: symptoms start very suddenly, without other symptoms ever happening before
Positional : when you put your head in a specific position
Vertigo: sensation of movement when you are stationary
Crystals? What crystals?
They live in our inner ear. They are formed by calcium and carbonate. They lie down on hairy cells and they move every time we move our head up and down or during acceleration and deceleration of our body. Like if you had little rocks lying on your head: every time you bend your head forward they will fall, same if you do it backwards, or if you stop and accelerate.
Why do I get vertigo when they move?
Usually, in normal conditions, they move around without us even noticing it. However, for different reasons, the crystals move to a different spot of the inner ear causing vertigo. What happens is that they stimulate the inner ear in the wrong way, because they have moved, and your brain responds with quick eye movements, making you feel very dizzy.
Why does it happen?
The reasons are not totally clear, but it has been found that is more common in elderly people because as we age, the crystals get looser increasing the chances of moving and falling into different spots.
After a head injury, you also have higher chances of having BPPV, due to the impact in your head and all the shaking in your system.
Will I be spinning forever?
Definitely no! Remember, we said it is benign, so it can be cured! There are different maneuvers that trained health professionals can do, to help you to put those crystals back in place.
Does everyone that suffers from vertigo have BPPV?
Unfortunately, no. There are many causes of vertigo. As we mentioned before, BPPV is the most common one , but sometimes could be over – diagnosed. That is why being assessed by a qualified health professional is mandatory before trying any exercise on your own.
Clara, our specialised vestibular rehabilitation physiotherapist has made a youtube video about BPPV, which can be viewed here
In our Cairns Physio Practice we offer specialised 1 hour Vestibular and Vertigo Assessments with Clara, visit our Website to book or for more information give our friendly clinic staff a call on 42319777
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