BPPV – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, is the most common source of vertigo. Vertigo is the false sensation that you are falling, or the room is spinning. The main symptom of BPPV is that your vertigo is triggered by head movements (suddenly looking up, down, or to the right or left.) Rarely serious, it is significantly disabling and can cause a risk of falling. Fortunately, it can be helped by physical therapy.

Tiny organs and fluid in your inner ear are responsible for balance. BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals called otoconia or “canaliths” come loose from their normal location in the inner ear.  When the ear crystals become detached, they can flow freely in the fluid-filled spaces of the inner ear, including the semi-circular canal – the organ that senses rotation of the head. These floating crystals create havoc, by falsely telling your inner ear that your position in space is changing. This is what causes the spinning sensation with head movement that people with BPPV describe.
Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation to determine whether your vertigo/dizziness is likely caused by BPPV. If so, positional techniques called “Canalith Repositioning” can be very effective in resolving the symptoms.


What Does A Physical Therapist Do for BPPV?

Saunders Therapy Centers physical therapists are all skilled at performing Canalith Repositioning techniques.

The canalith repositioning procedure consists of several simple maneuvers for positioning your head. Guided by your therapist, the head movements attempt to move the loose particles from the fluid-filled semicircular canals of your inner ear into a location where they don’t cause trouble and are more easily resorbed.

This procedure often works immediately, and usually works after one or two treatments. Since BPPV can recur, you will be taught how to perform the procedure on yourself so that you can do it at home if needed.


BPPV dizziness