Q:

How does physical therapy play into the treatment of positional vertigo?

A:

Quick Answer

Physical therapy exercises can help reposition minute crystals in the inner ear, as stated by the American Hearing Research Foundation. These crystals are sometimes the cause of positional vertigo when out of place inside the ear.

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How does physical therapy play into the treatment of positional vertigo?
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Full Answer

A big part of recovery from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo involves certain exercises completed in a specific order. Patients are often guided through these exercises, including the Epley and Semont Maneuvers, by a doctor or another health care professional.

These exercises help reposition displaced otoconia, which are minute crystals that are used in the inner ear to help the body remain balanced. With the correct application of these exercises vertigo can be eased by moving these wayward crystals to less sensitive parts of the inner ear.

Patients with chronic balance problems from positional vertigo may also use other kinds of physical therapy. When the body has trouble maintaining equilibrium or recovering from a long-term balance problem, physical therapy may be necessary to help desensitize the brain to conflicting information that causes vertigo.

The program usually involves a customized set of head, body and eye exercises to complete at home and in-therapy. Initially, symptoms may get worse, but with persistence most patients do find their condition improves, as stated by the Vestibular Disorders Association.

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