BPPV stands for Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. BPPV is essentially a condition that affect the parts of the inner ear responsible for the sensation of balance collectively called the Vestibular System.
What is the Vestibular System?
This system acts as a “level” to give a 3 dimensional gauge of the tilt of our head. This is done using tiny crystals within the inner ear act like the air bubble within a level to tell us our forward/ backward and left to right tilt. Our brain uses this in combination with our vision to accurately see and feel the position of the body in space and time.
How does BPPV affect the Vestibular System
BPPV occurs when these crystals become dislodged within the inner ear. This will cause a mismatch in signalling to the brain resulting in a spell of dizziness. The hallmark sign of BPPV is an intense spinning of the room around the body. This usually occurs during changes in position and can cause nausea and vomiting.
Treating BPPV with Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists can treat BPPV using a series of head positions with goal to reposition the crystals within the inner ear. The procedure is called the Eply manoeuvre and is painless but requires experience and a high degree of skill to accurately perform.
Not to be Missed!
BPPV is only one of many sources of Vertigo. Please do not hesitate to consult you General Practitioner if you have any type of dizziness. While BPPV may be a likely source, there are numerous other conditions that may need addressing and can masquerade as BPPV.