Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
What is BPPV?
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, commonly referred to as BPPV, is a problem originating from the network of canals in the inner ear. These canals relay our head position and movements to our brain. On occasion, small calcium crystals known as otoconia, or otoliths, can become dislodged and circulate freely within the canals.
Certain movements will cause these crystals move around creating a brief, intense period of vertigo for typically less than one minute.
Frequently provocative movements include turning the head left or right, turning from side to side while lying, or looking up and down. The sensation caused, vertigo, is a spinning sensation that will feel like the room is moving around you.
What can cause BPPV and what is it?
BPPV and vertigo can result from a head injury, but is often spontaneous and insidious in origin. The specific cause of onset is often unknown.
How physiotherapy can help
Your physiotherapist will first determine in which of the various canals of the inner ear the crystals are found. Depending on the canal effected, your physiotherapist will choose a specific manoeuvre to guide you through that will help to pass the crystals through the canals and remove them from the inner ear.
Physiotherapy treatment for BPPV is extremely effective and can often be resolved in as few as 2 or 3 sessions. Your physiotherapist may also assign a couple of vestibular exercises which will help to resolve and remaining signs or symptoms following treatment.