The passages of the inner ear do more than enable your sense of hearing. These delicate mechanisms also control your balance, coordination and your sense of where you are in space. Balance is a careful conversation between your inner ear and your brain. If any part of the process fails, you can experience periods of vertigo. Multiple conditions can cause vertigo, but physical therapy near me can help.
Common Conditions That Will Require Help From a PT
Here are a few of the most common illnesses that can affect your sense of balance. While medication can help with these conditions, physical therapy is still an important step to restore your balance.
Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
The most widespread cause of vertigo is a condition called BPPV. In BPPV, tiny calcium crystals that belong on the membranes of the ear become loose and begin rolling around the inner ear. The loose particles throw off the body’s sense of positioning causing brief but intense periods of dizziness and the sensation of the room spinning.
This condition usually has no additional health complications and responds extremely well to physical therapy maneuvers. Tilting the head in certain patterns causes the ear to reabsorb the loose calcium crystals.
Head Injury or Concussion
Mild traumatic brain injury is another common cause of dizziness. Hitting the head can damage the mechanisms of the inner ear, the parts of the brain that help you balance, or both. Physical therapy jobs near me can help with the neck pain following a concussion as well as the vestibular symptoms.
A stroke or brain tumor can also damage the nerves that help you orient yourself in space, leading to dizziness. Repetitive exercises can retrain your brain to understand where you are in space, similar to how other treatments can help your brain recover essential functions such as speech.
Inner Ear Diseases
Health problems with the inner ear affect your sense of balance. Temporary problems, such as inflammation from an infection, may be cured over time but still cause unpleasant bouts of vertigo. Other diseases, such as Meniere’s disease, affect the fluid balance of the inner ear and have no cure. Physical therapy can help you manage symptoms.
What PT for Balance and Vestibular Issues Looks Like
Most PT maneuvers for balance involve tilting the head and body at specific angles. Which maneuvers are most helpful will depend on the cause of your balance issues.
For BPPV, a physical therapist will teach you exercises called canalith repositioning maneuvers. These exercises move and clear the calcium crystals inside the ear. Neurological damage often requires repetitive exercises, such as marching in place, that can improve your brain’s ability to recognize how your body is moving.
You can also perform physical therapy exercises at home to manage vertigo episodes and reduce the severity of your balance symptoms. A series of head and body tilts can quickly reorient you and help restore the function of the inner ear. Learning these maneuvers from physical therapy clinics near me helps ensure their effectiveness.
Get professional help for any vertigo and dizziness symptoms. Physical therapy can provide relief and help restore your daily functioning.