There are many reasons for dizziness and vertigo, but one very common cause – Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo (BPPV) – has a quick fix that surprisingly few people know about.
BPPV is caused by a problem in the inner ear, affecting the body’s balance mechanism. Symptoms include nausea and vertigo- a spinning sensation that usually comes on directly after turning the head- for example when turning over in bed. It can be quite disabling, but up to 80% of sufferers will experience instant (and permanent) relief after a simple 2-minute procedure called the Epley’s Manoeuvre that can be carried out by your local osteopath.
Diagnosis is made using the Dix-Hallpike test in combination with a careful case history and testing to rule out other causes of dizziness. Your osteopath can then carry out the Manoeuvre. The procedure itself is simple and painless and involves lying down while the head is placed a series of specific positions.
BPPV is caused when crystalline particles called otoliths become detached from their gel pads and instead start to drift freely around the fluid-filled vestibular system. When these particles become trapped in the narrow semicircular canals, they repeatedly stimulate movement receptors here, causing the sensation of vertigo. The manoeuvre guides the trapped otoliths back out of the semicircular canals.
I have successfully treated a number of patients with BPPV using the Epley’s Manoeuvre – it really can work miracles!