What Exactly Is Vertigo? | Cardin & Miller

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What Is Vertigo?

Young woman suffering from migraine in bed at home vertigo causing dizziness

Do you experience dizziness, ringing in the ears, or feel like your surroundings are spinning?

If so, you may be experiencing vertigo.

Vertigo is a sensation of spinning when you’re not actually moving, which can cause immense discomfort, a feeling of motion/sea sickness, difficulty focusing on objects, and even nausea and vomiting.

It can be a very uncomfortable and disorienting experience.

This unpleasant condition affects more than 40 million Americans every year. It has various causes ranging from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) to Meniere’s disease.

In this blog post, we provide an overview of what vertigo is as well as discuss its symptoms, the potential causes, and the treatment options available.

Vertigo can be a difficult affliction to bear. However, armed with knowledge about the condition and its treatments, you can find some relief.

Every person’s body is different, so it may take some experimentation to find which treatment works best for you. But with patience and care, you can live almost entirely symptom-free.

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What Is Vertigo And How Does It Affect The Body?

Closeup portrait young woman with vertigo. Young female patient suffering from dizziness isolated on gray wall background

A sensation of dizziness or a spinning feeling typically characterizes vertigo. But it is a condition that people often misunderstand.

It’s not just feeling a little dizzy or lightheaded. The sensation of real vertigo is much more intense and can come on suddenly.

Sufferers experience a spinning sensation that creates a sense of disorientation and loss of balance.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to determine if it is vertigo or something else. One way to identify vertigo is to pay attention to the timing and trigger of the symptoms.

Vertigo is often triggered by sudden head movement or changes in position. If you suspect you have vertigo, it’s important to seek help from a physical therapist to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

But what causes it? Well, it’s usually a problem within the inner section of the ear, which is responsible for maintaining balance in the body.

This part of the ear is also responsible for detecting head position and movement changes, which is why vertigo can be so disorienting.

Sometimes the trigger is migraines or certain medications. Other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and excessive sweating, can accompany vertigo.

It can be a really unpleasant experience that disrupts your daily life. However, the good news is that with proper treatment, you can escape the all-consuming misery of this condition and get your life back.

What Type Of Vertigo Do You Have?

So, vertigo can severely affect your balance and spatial awareness, so much so that you may even feel like you need to cling onto the furniture or kitchen countertops to steady yourself and move around the house.

But did you know that there are several types of vertigo, each with its own symptoms and underlying causes?

The most common type of vertigo is BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which occurs when tiny crystals in your inner ear become dislodged.

Other types of vertigo may be caused by Meniere’s disease, migraines, or inner ear inflammation. But regardless of what type you think you might have, don’t try to diagnose yourself.

It’s important to speak with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the type of vertigo you have, so we can evaluate your symptoms and advise you on the best course of treatment.

When To Seek Medical Attention For Vertigo-Related Issues

human ear anatomy

If you experience dizziness, spinning sensations, or feeling unsteady on your feet, it can indicate that something is wrong, which is usually an inner ear problem.

But while most cases of vertigo are benign and resolve on their own, there are times when seeking medical attention is crucial.

If your vertigo is accompanied by severe headaches, difficulty speaking or swallowing, or numbness or weakness in your limbs, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

Also, if your symptoms persist or worsen over time, it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your MD to make sure there isn’t a more serious condition at play.

Medication To Treat Vertigo

Vertigo makes even simple tasks feel impossible, which really isn’t practical if you need to work or care for children.

In these cases, some medications can provide emergency, temporary relief from your symptoms. One option is meclizine, which works by blocking the signals from the inner ear that cause dizziness.

Another medication, dimenhydrinate, is commonly used to treat motion sickness but can also be effective for vertigo.

While these medications can be helpful, they’re not without side effects, so we encourage you to avoid them and contact a Physical Therapist instead.

How To Fix Vertigo Naturally

Cross country racer stretching on top of a hill and enjoying sunset sea view

If you suffer from vertigo, you know the feeling of dizziness and nausea it can bring. But what is the best treatment option available to help relieve these symptoms?

Vertigo is a condition that can make you feel like the whole world is spinning around you – leaving you feeling disoriented and unsteady on your feet.

While medication can help manage these symptoms, some prefer natural remedies. Ginger, for example, has been found to be quite effective in relieving the nausea and dizziness that can sometimes accompany vertigo.

Another natural remedy is ginkgo biloba, which is believed to improve blood flow to the brain and reduce vertigo symptoms – although the jury is still out on this one. There are also a few lifestyle changes that can help manage certain types of vertigo.

One of the most effective changes is incorporating regular exercise into your routine, improving balance and reducing dizziness. You may also want to try reducing salt intake and staying hydrated because it can help regulate fluid levels in the body, which may contribute to vertigo.

Also getting enough quality sleep and managing stress levels can make a big difference in minimizing vertigo symptoms.

Additionally, relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation can help ease vertigo symptoms by reducing stress and anxiety.

Yoga focuses on gentle movements and deep breathing to improve circulation and relaxation. Some people find relief from vertigo through other alternative practices such as acupuncture.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles into specific points on the body to balance energy flow.

Both practices have been shown to improve vertigo symptoms and may offer a natural alternative to traditional treatment options. But by far, the best natural treatment for vertigo is physical therapy.

Rebalance Exercises

When you suffer from vertigo, the world can be a dizzying and frightening place. But did you know that certain exercises can provide fast relief from the symptoms of vertigo?

Rebalance exercises or vestibular rehabilitation exercises have been shown to improve balance and reduce dizziness.

These exercises are simple movements, such as standing on one leg with closed eyes, or more complex moves, such as walking heel to toe in a straight line.

The goal is to challenge your balance in different ways to train your brain to better cope with vertigo symptoms. Over time, vestibular rehabilitation exercises can also help to restore balance and promote brain plasticity to strengthen the vestibular system.

So, if you or someone you know struggles with vertigo, consider incorporating some of these rebalance exercises into your daily routine to improve your quality of life.

Although you can find some tutorials online, the best way to learn these exercises is by getting a trained physical therapist to teach you how to do them properly.

What Are The Benefits Of Physical Therapy For Vertigo?

pt helping with vertigo

Vertigo can negatively impact your quality of life. You can use medication for temporary relief, but physical therapy is a much longer-lasting and more effective treatment for the symptoms of vertigo.

By utilizing specific exercises and techniques, we can help improve your balance, reduce dizziness, and alleviate other symptoms associated with vertigo.

It’s a much safer alternative to powerful prescription medications. Through a personalized plan of care, we provide you with the tools you need to manage your vertigo and regain control of your life.

If you’ve had vertigo for a while, it’s unlikely to disappear on its own, so don’t put off seeking treatment. If you are experiencing vertigo and want some relief – to stop everything spinning and eliminate nausea, we can help.

We’re experts in treating vertigo and vestibular rehabilitation. You don’t have to endure it. Give us a call or book a free “Discovery Visit” consultation appointment to find out more.

We can help you identify the root cause – the underlying reason why you have vertigo symptoms and get to work together on resolving your symptoms.

Shannon Kostelac

Shannon Kostelac

Shannon Kostelac

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