Balance & vertigo
Balance can be defined as ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady’ although there is no universally accepted definition of human balance.
Many parts of the human body are involved in maintaining balance and preventing falls and often more than one system, risk factor or underlying cause is involved when loss of balance leads to a fall.
Visual or inner ear dysfunction (As described above) can significantly impair balance ability as can leg muscle weakness, low blood pressure, reduced sensation, foot pain or injury and even some medications.
Bevan Wilson’s physiotherapists are able to assess and identify a patient’s individual risk factors that may lead to reduced balance and then help the patient implement strategies to reduce the risk of falls or injury whilst addressing these factors through treatment, exercise or onward referral.
Vertigo is an often misunderstood term relating to a condition involving the sensation of movement, there can be many causes including inner ear problems or even the use of some medicines.
The correct diagnosis of the cause of vertigo is vital to its effective treatment and as with all conditions we work closely with GP’s and consultants to ensure that the most appropriate treatment is delivered. There are numerous conditions that may lead to a feeling of imbalance and many of these can be treated successfully by our rehabilitation physiotherapists.
There are four such conditions that are regularly treated by our team:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is primarily caused by the formation of crystals in the semi-circular canals of the inner ear. Effective treatment re-positions these particles freeing patients of the dizziness and unpleasant spinning associated with the condition.
Viral Labyrinthitis occurs most commonly following a heavy cold or flu, symptoms include spinning vertigo and sickness typically lasting a few days or even weeks. Our practitioners can treat the condition and help with techniques to use if future episodes occur.
Caused by a build-up of pressure in the inner ear Meniere’s Disease is typified by attacks of dizziness that can last for anything up to 24 hours causing intense tinnitus and loss of hearing. This build-up of pressure is called endolymphatic hydrops and our physiotherapists can again teach you physical strategies to manage the condition.
Vertigo may also be caused by the Central Nervous System typically an imbalance between the two parts of the brain that co-ordinate central balance control. Our physiotherapists are able to assess, isolate and treat the causes of the condition offering relief from symptoms.