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Physical therapy may help treat dizzinessJuly 10, 2015
“Dizzy, I’m so dizzy my head is spinning.”
“Dizzy,” a song originally performed by Tommy Roe in 1969, still covers a common health topic of today. The National Institute of Health estimates 80 percent of people aged 65 years and older have experienced dizziness.
The definition of dizziness can be very broad, most everyone knows what we are talking about, but do you know how to treat it?
According to the Mayo Clinic, dizziness is a term used to describe everything from feeling faint or lightheaded to feeling weak or unsteady.
Dizziness that creates the sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving is called vertigo.
Dizziness is one of the most common causes for adults to see their provider. Although it can quickly keep people from their daily routine and activities, it rarely is a sign of a life-threating condition.
There are many causes for dizziness, one of which is often referred to as inner ear (vestibularsystem). This is commonly referred to as vertigo.
Vertigo occurs when there are changes to the connections in the vestibular system. These connections sense movement and changes in your head position. Sometimes vertigo is severe enough to cause nausea, vomiting and balance problems.
Depending on the specific cause, the doctor may prescribe physical therapy as part of treatment.
One treatment available is vestibular rehabilitation therapy.
VRT is a specialized form of therapy designed to alleviate both primary and secondary symptoms of vestibular disorders.
It is an alternative treatment (medications are frequently prescribed as well) involving specific exercises that can eliminate or significantly reduce symptoms by promoting central nervous system compensation for inner-ear deficits.
“This is not a new service we are offering, but a very important one. There are a number of people who suffer with this and there is a treatment available here at home,” said Debbie Jelks, director of the Center for Wellness and Rehabilitation at Henry County Medical Center. She is a physical therapist with a master’s degree in physical therapy.
“By assessment of the patient’s head, neck and trunk movements, there are exercises that can help to reduce their symptoms.”
Jelks goes on to say with this being a large retirement community, she has seen more and more patients suffering with this condition.
“Usually two to three treatments and we notice symptoms improving, if it is a vestibular issue,” Jelks said.