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Vestibular Migraines Are One Of The Most Common Causes Of Vertigo.

With this condition, patients suffer from migraines that involve vestibular symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo and nausea. Headaches do not necessarily have to be present. In fact, sometimes some people may have vertigo without any headache. The term migraine in this condition means it is a spontaneous episode caused by a combination of triggers.

There is not a clear explanation for why vestibular migraines happen but there are lots of things we can do to help to reduce them.

Vestibular migraines present as spontaneous episodes of vertigo that last from minutes to hours. This vertigo can be combined with other symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, imbalance, light and noise sensitivity, tinnitus, etc. Some people have them weekly, others may experience them yearly or every couple of years.

The key to managing vestibular migraines is firstly: to identify the triggers using a skilled vestibular assessment. Our physiotherapist Clara Andrich has a special interest in vestibular migraines. Using the information we gain on your unique triggers, we can advise you on modifications in your everyday life.

Vestibular Migraines > The Most Common Triggers

  • Diet: this can include MSG, Aged cheeses, processed meat, dark alcohol or coffee, to name a few
  • Stress
  • Sleep disturbanes
  • Hormonal Fluctuations
  • An underlying vestibular condition

Once we identify the causes of your issue, vestibular rehab is key to your treatment. This can include: education on triggers, hands on therapies and home exercises. If behavioural change is not enough, there is also medical management that can be provided by a neurologist or your general practitioner. Certain medications can help to reduce your symptoms or prevent the migraine from happening at all. Our vestibular physiotherapists may refer you to other members of our team to help maximise your health & wellbeing. These can include:

Catherine Lipsett Moore – Naturopathy

Naturopathy can help you address your migraine concerns by:

  • Investigating any medical predisposition you may have, but are possibly unaware of.
  • Conducting a comprehensive examination which may, depending on your symptoms, include functional testing, genetic testing, blood testing, nutritional testing.
  • Assessing and treating hormonal imbalance.
  • Evaluating your individual food chemical triggers.
  • Targeting stress management.
  • Treating with customized high potency nutrients, herbs and/or supplements, as well as dietary recommendations, exercise and lifestyle advice.
  • Ultimately developing an individualized, preventative health strategy to support you in maximizing your wellness outcome.

Campbell Will – Breathing Therapy

Breathing is something we do upwards of 20,000 times every day. It can heavily influence everything from our posture to our physiology, our mental and emotional states and even our stress levels. Unfortunately for many, how we breathe is far from optimal. Whether it’s impaired due to pain, injury, prolonged sitting or many other factors, incorrect breathing techniques can start to negatively impact our body. When we feel stressed, anxious or upset our breathing changes. But this also means we can change our breathing to positively impact these states. We know that stress can be a contributing factor to headaches and migraines but rarely do we have practical tools to alleviate stress. By developing a deeper understanding of our breath, we are able to use it as a form of self-treatment, whenever we need it, wherever we are, without the need for any equipment. If you feel that stress, anxiety or emotional disruption contributes to your migraines, Campbell recommends you explore the role that your breathing can play in providing you with a set of individualised protocols to restore balance to your body. An hour long Respiratory Assessment can be booked with Campbell online or at our Sheridan Street clinic.

Dr Erin Martin – Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle hands on technique which involves mobilisation of the soft tissue around the cranial (skull) bones, face and other areas of the body. Its aim is to restore balance in the nervous system, reduce pain and stress and assist with sensory disorders. Vestibular migraine sufferers often present with a range of sensitivities, including to light, smell and noise, as well as being understandably quite stressed about their condition. Craniosacral therapy is provided by our Osteopath Dr Erin Martin & our Practice Principal, Suzanne Rath, to assist with managing your symptoms.

Suzanne Rath, Clara Andrich & Nicolas Olguin – Watsons Headache Technique & Vestibular Migraines

Several studies have shown that the upper cervical spine (the 3 vertebrae below the base of your skull, or C1, C2, C3) can be stiff in some segments in people who suffer from Vestibular Migraines. This stiffness can lead to sensitisation of the brainstem, exacerbating symptoms such as dizziness. The Watson headache approach is performed by physiotherapists who are trained in specific assessment and treatment of these segments. If you require skilled upper cervical spine treatment with therapists trained in the Watson headache approach, we can provide this.

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