What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo is the sensation of spinning—even when you’re perfectly still, you might feel like you’re moving or that the room is moving around you. Most causes of vertigo involve the inner ear (“vestibular system”). A number of conditions can produce vertigo, such as:

  • Inner ear infections or disorders
  • Migraines
  • Tumors, such as acoustic neuroma
  • Surgery that removes or injures the inner ear or its nerves
  • Head injury that results in injury to the inner ears
  • A hole in the inner ear
  • Stroke

You also might have:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Abnormal eye movements

One of the most common forms of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, an inner-ear problem that causes short periods of a spinning sensation when your head is moved in certain positions.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Your physical therapist will use your answers to the following questions to help identify the cause of your vertigo and to determine the best course of treatment:

  • When did you first have vertigo (the sensation of spinning)?
  • What are you doing when you have vertigo (turning your head, bending over, standing perfectly still, rolling in bed)?
  • How long does the vertigo last(seconds, minutes, hours, days)?
  • Have you had vertigo before?
  • Do you have hearing loss, ringing, or fullness in your ears?
  • Do you have nausea with the spinning?
  • Have you had any changes in your heart rate or breathing?

Your physical therapist will perform tests to determine the causes of your vertigo and also to assess your risk of falling. Depending on the results of the tests, your therapist may recommend further testing or consultation with your physician.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Based on your physical therapist’s evaluation and your goals for recovery, the therapist will customize a treatment plan for you. The specific treatments will depend on the cause of your vertigo. Your therapist’s main focus is to help you get moving again and manage the vertigo at the same time. Treatment may include specialized head and neck movements or other exercises to help eliminate your symptoms. Conditions such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo have very specific tests and treatments.

If you have dizziness and balance problems after your vertigo has stopped, your physical therapist can develop a treatment plan that targets those problems. Your physical therapist will teach you strategies to help you cope with your symptoms:

  • Do certain activities or chores around the house cause you to become dizzy? Your therapist will show you how to do those activities in a different way to help reduce the dizziness.
  • Have simple activities become difficult and cause fatigue and more dizziness? Your therapist will help you work through these symptoms right away so you can get moving again and return to your roles at home and at work more quickly.

Physical therapy treatments for dizziness can take many forms. The type of exercise that your therapist designs for you will depend on your unique problems and might include:

  • Exercises to improve your balance
  • Exercises to help the brain “correct” differences between your inner ears
  • Exercises to improve your ability to focus your eyes and vision

In addition, your physical therapist might prescribe exercises to improve your strength, your flexibility, and your heart health—with the goal of improving your overall physical health and well being.

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Testimonials

I had a knee replacement and everyone at Flicker Physical Therapy has been amazing!! I would recommend anyone who needs physical therapy go there! No matter who you work with, you’ll be glad you did. Thank you everyone at Flicker. I appreciate all of you and the wonderful job you do.
Wendy Johnson Baker
Wendy Johnson Baker
18:47 22 Oct 19
The staff at Flicker are all amazing; everyone is so friendly and helpful.
Shannon Paulson
Shannon Paulson
01:31 16 Oct 19
I have been going to them since April. I felt very comfortable and informed every time. One on one care has been exceptional. They listen to what you are saying and change the plan if needed. The entire staff is friendly and very knowledgeable. I would recommend them in a second,
Teresa Martin
Teresa Martin
15:03 13 Aug 19
They took such good care of husband after knee surgery!
Barbara Houser
Barbara Houser
00:01 13 Aug 19
Would recommend Flicker Physical Therapy. Jarrod helped me get my shoulder back in working condition after surgery. He was very efficient and did great job. Everyone was friendly and caring. Good job Flicker and physical therapist Jarrod.
Steven Allbright
Steven Allbright
00:23 18 Jun 19
They are professional and very detailed. No doddling around, they get right to working with your injury, they don't push you past your limit.
Jolene Kiggins
Jolene Kiggins
03:54 22 May 19
Tim and his team are absolutely the best!!! I've been to other PTs where they treat multiple patients at the same time, but this never happens at Flicker. It's always one-on-one therapy, which really made the difference in my recovery!
Emily Jahsman
Emily Jahsman
03:09 06 Apr 19
The staff are all knoweldgeable, friendly and welcoming. I'm always impressed with the different techniques they use on my therapy. Unlike other places where they have you doing the same things over and over with very little variety. I also like the way they show special care to the elderly clients. I would highly recommend Flicker PhysicalTherapy !
Tru To Mee
Tru To Mee
19:22 04 Feb 19
Had physical therapy, after a total knee replacement, with physical therapist Mike. The best experience I've ever had. One on one personal attention to specific needs. He's very personable & easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable, confident & relaxed in the approach we took to gain strength back in my knee. I wish I could keep him for myself. Lol
Lora Ellis
Lora Ellis
14:02 19 Jul 18
Not thrilled about having to do therapy afterward my at home therapy for three weeks. (Had hip replacement done). However, with bursitis in hip that travels down leg, the therapy seems to be helping very much . Mary is really patient with me and she explains things to reassure me. I still have a way to go . I would recommend Dr Flicker and his wife's place if you need help in this field.
Jane Lash Green
Jane Lash Green
21:38 27 Jul 17
Very friendly, attentive and thorough. I just Love going!
Aubrey Luna Kamaria
Aubrey Luna Kamaria
19:36 29 Mar 17
Everyone was very nice and professional. Thank you for everything you had done for me. You all feel like family And I will be back if I ever need physical therapy again. Thank you Kylie you are Awsome.
Paula Blackner
Paula Blackner
18:27 24 Mar 17
they are really nice. i like the place. they seem to understand the fact that i was abused and scared of trying things new. i am glad my doctor refered me to this place 🙂
Jewels Summers
Jewels Summers
13:41 20 Mar 17
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