The most common cause of vertigo is BPPV

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV is when the crystals within the inner ear canals are positioned incorrectly or are unable to function normally. This causes a disparity between all aspects of your balance system and therefore a range of symptoms related to this. BPPV treatment should consist of vestibular rehabilitation and symptom management with medication. Physis provide vestibular physiotherapy for BPPV in Edinburgh.

Symptoms of BPPV

Dizziness, room spinning, loss of balance, nausea and vomiting are all common symptoms of BPPV. 

Causes of BPPV

Most cases are idiopathic (cause is unknown) but commonly a recent virus illness, prolonged lying postures (illness or surgery) as well as a recent trauma (fall or head knock) can cause BPPV.

Triggers for BPPV:

  • tilting of the head
  • rolling over in bed
  • looking up or under
  • sudden head motion

Things that affect the impact of BPPV:

  1. Lack of sleep
  2. Stress
  3. Changes in atmospheric pressure (weather)

What does a physiotherapist do for BPPV?

  1. Diagnosis- there are other conditions which cause dizziness and therefore identifying BPPV correctly is important.
  2. Identifying the side of the problem- Many of the procedures we use are shown in videos on the internet but if you fail to correctly diagnose the problem or fail to identify the correct side then choosing the right treatment method is problematic. In addition trying do some of the maneuvers yourself is very difficult and therefore less effective.
  3. Effective management- comes not only with the initial treatment but in understanding the right rehabilitation exercises to continue with afterwards to ensure long term benefit

How many sessions does it take?

Although most patients feel significantly better after one session, patients are all different. In most cases less than 3-4 sessions are required to resolve the problem or allow self management. In the first year after the first episode there is a 15% recurrence rate and that increases to 37-50% within 5 years. The current (23/11/20) waiting list in Edinburgh for an NHS ENT appointment is 54 weeks. We do not have a waiting list and we can often see patients within a few days.

Not all of our team treat vestibular problems such as BPPV. But we have various sites within Edinburgh that provide this service. For more information or to make an appointment call 0131 478 4646.