3 common causes of vertigo and dizziness

Jul 26, 2023Common Conditions, Blog, Treatment

In this video Simon discusses 3 common causes of vertigo and dizziness. 

Vertigo is a severe dizziness that feels like the entire world is spinning around. It can be very limiting as it often effects walking and everyday activity. Vertigo is often triggered or exacerbated by changes of position such as lying down or getting up. Quick head movements can also trigger vertigo. You may also experience a fast eye flicking movement called nystagmus.

One of the most common causes of vertigo or dizziness is a problem with the inner ear, or vestibular system. This is the main balance organ in the body. Problems of the vestibular system include BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) in which debris falls into part of the inner ear and disrupts the normal function of the organ. An infection of this organ, or the vestibular nerve which runs from the organ to the brain can also cause dizziness / vertigo.

Surprisingly in the case of BPPV it can often be a quick fix. A skilled physiotherapist can perform the ‘Epley manoeuvre’ which involves placing your head in a series of positions to clear the debris from the effected vestibular system. When done correctly BPPV can be resolved almost instantly. In other cases, an infection may have to be treated with antibiotics in conjunction with your GP.

Another possible cause of dizziness and vertigo is dysfunction of the neck. Your neck muscles help to control your head position and orientation. They also send information via nerves to the brain about your head position. Injury or dysfunction at the neck can alter these signals to the brain. The brain then gets the wrong signals and dizziness, or vertigo occurs. Common symptoms in neck related dizziness include neck pain, headaches, and history of injury to the neck. A physiotherapist can help identify neck related dizziness and provide treatment and rehabilitation for this condition.

Another unusual cause of dizziness and vertigo is vitamin B3 toxicity. This means that you have an abnormally high intake of vitamin B3 which is having a negative effect on body tissues including those that contribute to balance. This would usually only occur if you were taking multiple vitamin supplements containing B3. If you are concerned about this, see your GP or a skilled dietician.

In summary there are many possible causes of dizziness and vertigo. In many situations this can be identified and treated by a skilled physiotherapist. Our physiotherapists at Alpha Physio have training in identifying the different causes of dizziness and vertigo and are trained in the treatment of these conditions . They can also help refer you in the right direction if there is an unusual underlying cause.

If you are experiencing vertigo or dizziness book with Alpha Physio today.



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