A little about dizziness: Highlights from our September dizziness & balance class
Dizziness & Balance: Free September workshop 2019
For those of you who attended our dizziness & balance workshop in September, and there were a lot of you, thank you! We are so glad we get to share our knowledge with our community.
We spent an hour and a half a few weeks ago talking about what dizziness is and how a trained physical therapist can help. We also talked about balance, and how to use the MovNat approach to challenge and improve your balance skills in order to reduce your risk of falling. Our presenters were the talented and knowledgeable physical therapists Dr. Karen Lovely and Dr. Jenny Ploss. Dr. Lovely has written up a little blog to remind you of the things you may already have forgotten, or to enlighten you if you missed this free community course. Enjoy, and come see us at Langford or MoveTru soon!
Do you ever think about how much harder balance is when you are distracted or multi-tasking? Do you notice that your legs aren’t reacting as quickly as they used to when you catch your toe on a tree root? Do you feel out of sorts when you quickly turn your head before crossing the street? Balance requires strength, quick reflexes, sharp cognition, focused vision, sensation in our feet, and an efficient vestibular system. If you are having difficulty with balance, working with a physical therapist can help you navigate the complexity of balance and improve your confidence in staying on your feet.
Last week at MoveTru, we had a great conversation on the role of the vestibular system in balance. The vestibular system is part of the inner ear, deep inside the temporal bone of the skull. The vestibular system is too deep to be seen when the doctor looks inside your ear. It is also a body system that we do not appreciate until something goes awry. When experiencing vestibular dysfunction, you may feel dizzy, unsteady, ungrounded, woozy, spinning, nauseas, motion sensitive, or like you are on a boat.
We talked about BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), a treatable form of vertigo that causes brief spells of a room spinning sensation that are positional in nature and typically last less than 1 minute. This is different from PPPD (Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness), a common cause of chronic dizziness and imbalance with persistent, non-spinning vertigo and motion sensitivity. Vertigo can further be diagnosed as a vestibular hypofunction, which causes a sensation of feeling ungrounded and in disequilibrium. These sensations are exacerbated by movement of the head, such as quickly turning to round a corner. I won’t go until the details here, but neck pain and migraines can also contribute to vertigo.
Dizziness can be managed and, usually, it can be treated. It is important to manage dizziness because experiencing vertigo increases your fall risk, increases your anxiety and stress, contributes to cancelled social outings, impacts your relationships, and influences your quality of life.
If you are experiencing imbalance and any symptoms of dizziness, reach out to a physical therapist with vestibular training to help you return to a grounded, steady state.
Dr. Karen Lovely is a a passionate physical therapist who particularly enjoys working with recreational athletes and older adults, and is trained to treat patients with dizziness, vertigo, and balance impairments. Karen is a dedicated runner and is very involved in all aspects of physical therapy, including our professional organization, the American Physical Therapy Association.
What if you’re hurt, or can’t do these movements well or without pain?
Let us know. We would be happy to help you, through individualized physical therapy with our experienced physical therapists. Contact us today to get started! Remember, you might not need a referral to see a physical therapist, so call our office today and see how you can get started. Have a wonderful ski season!
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Thank you again, and please be sure to swing back in, either to see a PT for an injury, work with Julie for an injury risk screening, or to try a MovNat class or run on the AlterG.