The medical condition known as vertigo is defined a sense of spinning -- you feel like you are spinning, or the room is spinning. It makes you dizzy, and you can't stop the sensation. Primary care physicians, audiologists, and ear-nose-throat physicians play an integral role in the diagnosis and treatment of vertigo.

Possible causes

  • BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)
  • Inner ear infections or disorders
  • Migraines
  • Stroke
  • Head injury
  • Tumors, such as an acoustic neuroma
  • Surgery that removes or injures the inner ear
  • A hole in the inner ear

One of the most common forms of vertigo is Benign Paraoxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). This is a disorder of the inner ear that causes short periods of vertigo when the head is moved in a certain position. Physical therapists are the health care providers of choice in managing BPPV, and often the symptoms can be reduced or resolved in one or two visits.

Treatment options

Our physical therapists also can help patients with other forms of vertigo and dizziness. The treatment and exercise that a physical therapist recommends depends on the specific cause of the vertigo. Treatment might include:

  • Exercises to improve balance
  • Exercises to help the brain 'correct' differences between the inner ears
  • Exercises to improve ability to focus your eyes and vision
  • Strengthening
  • Flexibility exercises