Have you felt like the world around you suddenly started spinning? So much that you couldn't manage to balance yourself. Or have you experienced an unexpected ringing in your ears along with blurry eyesight? If you have, then you must have experienced vertigo. Vertigo is a condition that results from various types of balance disorders, caused by abnormal changes in the inner ear.
You don’t have to be scared as it is not a disorder or medical condition. It is rather a cluster of symptoms caused by other disorders.
The definition of balance is - the ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support. Various systems within the body contribute to keep us balanced and keep ourselves upright. Systems include:
- A sensorimotor control system (controls our senses such as hearing and sight)
- Proprioception system (responsible for our touch)
- Vestibular system (helps to move without fall over)
Vertigo develops when the delicate parts of the ears no longer send information to the brain accurately about your position. The reasons for this can be
- Ear infections
- Blow to the head
- Or, simply aging.
Vestibular rehabilitation is one of the popular vertigo treatment that addresses vestibular organs. The vestibular systems constantly send various information to the brain in the form of nerve impulses called sensory receptors. The physical therapy tends to restrain these organs to work with other sense to re-establish the sense of balance. It also promotes central nervous system compensation of the inner-ear problems. As inactivity can be linked to worsening vertigo, this vertigo treatment work on increasing the strength, a range of motion, flexibility, and movement while preventing muscle fatigue and soreness.
Certain types of exercises and head adjustments can help move the ear rocks such as calcium deposits out of its area where they have caused the problem. Head maneuvers such as Canalith Repositioning Procedure (CRP) offer a series of specific head and body movements for clearing the canals of the inner ear chambers. During the exercise, when the head moves in a certain way, the canaliths within the canals travel back to their location in the utricle where they break up, dissolve, and stop causing dizziness. It is suggested to meet with a doctor who can show you how to perform them properly.
Inflammation and stress both can increase the risk of vertigo. They are capable of reducing immunity, making it more likely to experience ear infections, swelling, and other problems related to vestibular systems. The less stressed you are, the more you’ll exercises regularly and get a good sleep. Less stress reduces the chances of vertigo. Try exercising, yoga, meditation, warm baths, massages with essential oils, and spending more time outdoors as they are natural stress relievers.
Anti-inflammatory foods can manage your blood pressure levels and usually hydrate you by lowering your risk for vertigo. Foods such as:
- Vegetables - leafy greens
- Fresh fruits - banana, avocado
- Healthy sources of good fats - wild fish, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
- Sources of proteins - grass-fed meat, cage-free eggs, pasture-raised poultry
Drinking enough water each day along with these foods and lowering the intake of caffeine and alcohol also reduce the risk of vertigo.
Vertigo may not be the only reason why you are feeling dizzy. If the symptoms keep coming back, it’s good to talk to your therapist about it. We, Emerald Hills Physio, based in Edmonton, provide physical therapy services and vestibular rehabilitation. If you feel the need to undergo a vertigo treatment, please do drop us a line.