Dizziness and vertigo are common problems with many potential causes. Inner ear vestibular organ disorders are quite commonly the cause of true vertigo, especially if it is triggered by head motion or change of position. Central nervous system disorders can cause dizziness, vertigo and imbalance. Degenerative disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease can contribute to the development of those symptoms. Strokes and TIA’s can also result in the symptoms in question. Migraine headaches can present as a wide range of symptoms including motion sensitivity, dizziness, vision and light sensitivity and disequilibrium. Neck problems and neck injuries can be factors in cases of dizziness and lightheadedness. Many other medical possibilities leading to dizziness exist including Thyroid disorders, high or low blood pressure, vision disorders, cardiac issues, Neuropathy, blood sugar disorders, etc.
Who should I see about my symptoms?
Your Physician will help to diagnose and treat any medical conditions that can result in dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance. Your Physician may recommend other Physician consultations for medical work up of specific dizzy problems. Ear Nose and Throat doctors and Neurologists are Physicians who often deal with symptoms of dizziness, vertigo and imbalance. Should the Physician believe your symptoms are related to inner ear (vestibular organ) problems, central nervous system causes, or other sensory deficits such as vision impairment and Neuropathy, he or she will often recommend specialized “Vestibular” Physical Therapy.
How can my ear cause vertigo and dizziness, and how can Physical Therapy help?
The ear does much more than just hear and transmit sound. The vestibular organ in the inner ear tells the brain about head motion and head position. There are multiple possible disorders of vestibular function that can lead to vertigo and dizziness. For a good overview of vestibular disorders, visit the website of the Vestibular Disorders Association (www.vestibular.org). Specialized Vestibular Physical Therapy can be a very successful treatment for many causes of vertigo, dizziness and disequilibrium. Treatments can include head positioning maneuvers for BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). Treatments for dizziness from vestibular injury, multiple sensory problems, and central nervous system disorders include individualized balance, sensory organization and head motion exercises. Treatment, in Hannah’s experience, must include extensive education as to the normal sensory and motor components of balance function, and what is “normal” in terms of balance reactions and recovery.
I’m not dizzy but I am falling or afraid of falling:
Balance problems and the fear of falling are also exceedingly common, and can have many causes and contributing factors. Balance is a very complex process of first sensing changes of position from all over the body, and then responding to those changes. Even normal healthy people who are aging show predictable changes in the way they move that slowly contribute to a decline in balance confidence over time. The decline in balance function is common, but should not be considered normal. Specialized Physical Therapy can significantly reduce fall risk and improve balance in people who are feeling limited by those concerns. Hannah reassures people that even small amounts of safe balance exercises geared toward your specific deficits can dramatically improve balance and balance confidence with practice. You don’t need to accept the fact that using a cane or walker is the only solution to maintaining your
mobility and safety. Those decisions can only be made effectively with a thorough assessment of your overall physical abilities and limitations.
Does my insurance pay for vestibular therapy?
Vestibular Therapy is just a specialty in Physical Therapy. Your Physical Therapy benefits on your insurance plan apply to Vestibular Physical Therapy in the same way. Check your insurance plan, or feel free to contact us with questions about insurance coverage.
Can vestibular Physical Therapy help me?
Hannah Lamitie sees countless people for whom diagnostic tests and medical work ups do not show a definite cause of their symptoms. She estimates that about 30% of her clients do not have a definitive diagnosis, but are dizzy, lightheaded, motion sick, unstable, and some are falling repeatedly. It is very worth while even in those cases to SEE IF therapy can reduce your overall symptoms and improve your overall ability to function. Hannah thoroughly enjoys working with people who are dealing with these very limiting concerns of imbalance and dizziness. She is happy to return phone calls with questions about whether Physical Therapy with her vestibular and balance focus could be helpful to you or your loved ones.
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1120 E. Elizabeth St. Suite F-101
Fort Collins, Colorado 80524
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3820 N. Grant Ave.
Loveland, Colorado 80538