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Physical Therapy for Dizziness and Imbalance

Our physical therapist, Jenna Neff-Jacques, PT, DPT, OCS has specialized training in vestibular disorders and has shared some great information below:

Dizziness and imbalance are two things that can be treated by physical therapy, and that can occur more frequently as we age.

Dizziness can be caused by:

· problems in our vestibular (inner ear) system

· side effects of a new medication

· complications from a head injury

· a sudden drop in blood pressure

· limited mobility and pain in our upper cervical (neck) joints

Dizziness can also affect our balance and put us at increased risk for falls. Balance consists of input from 3 systems: 1) the above-mentioned vestibular system, 2) the sensation of where our body is in space or proprioception, and 3) vision. A worsening or dysfunction of any of these 3 systems can cause difficulty with balance in situations ranging from climbing a ladder, going up stairs, hiking on uneven terrain, to difficulty walking across a room in the dark.

When the seasons change and fall allergies and sniffles begin, we often see an increase in complaints of dizziness from our clients. This is due to the change in the thickness and stickiness of the fluid in our inner ears that can occur with allergies or a cold. The small crystals within our inner ears that send information to our brain about where our head is in space can get stuck in an area where they do not belong, which then causes a mismatch of signals from one ear to the other, and results in dizziness. This type of dizziness is called BPPV, or positional vertigo, and can be provoked with something as simple as rolling over in bed, sitting up from lying down, or bending over to tie your shoes. BPPV is very treatable and can often be cleared up in a few physical therapy visits.

If you are experiencing dizziness, difficulty with balance, or frequent falls, please give us a call to get scheduled so you can safely return to the activities you love. #NationalPhysicalTherapyMonth

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