What is Vertigo? A brief overview of BPPV
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo. It is often described as a sensation of spinning, even when the person is sitting or standing perfectly still. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is quite a mouthful, so let's break it down:

Benign – it is not life-threatening
Paroxysmal – it comes in sudden, brief spells
Positional – it gets triggered by certain head positions or movements
Vertigo – a false sense of rotational movement

People with vertigo report feeling like things are spinning around them while they are staying still. This spinning sensation is often triggered or worsened by certain head movements. This feeling can be quite scary, especially if you do not know what or why this is happening.

What's going on? What causes vertigo?

BPPV is a mechanical problem in the inner ear. It occurs when some of the crystals (otoconia) that are normally embedded in part of the inner ear become dislodged and move into one or more of the 3 fluid-filled semicircular canals, where they are not supposed to be. These crystals then interfere with the normal movement of fluid through the semicircular canals which sense head motion. This causes the inner ear to send incorrect signals to the brain, which causes the sensation of spinning. Vertigo symptoms typically last less than one minute, however, they can last longer. Between the vertigo spells, some people feel symptom free while others feel a sense of imbalance or "feeling off".

Assessment and Treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Vertigo can be assessed and treated by a physiotherapist trained in vestibular therapy. Energize Health offers vestibular therapy at both our north Calgary and south Calgary locations. We have two physiotherapists who are specially trained in vestibular rehabilitation: Kevin Connell (north and south clinics), and Cristiane Yamabayashi (south clinic). 

Your first appointment with Kevin or Cristiane will include a detailed vestibular assessment. Energize Health uses specialized technology called Infrared Video Goggles (sometimes referred to as video frenzel goggles) to determine the most likely cause of your symptoms. This specialized diagnostic and treatment technology is not widely available but is considered a must-have in the Energize Health clinics. This is because Infrared Video Goggles allow us to improve patient care with accurate assessment and treatment of vertigo, dizziness, and feelings of imbalance.  The more precise the diagnosis, the more effective the treatment and, ideally, resolution of symptoms. 

Kevin or Cristiane will educate you on your condition and provide you an individualized home program which they will monitor and progress according to your needs. In some cases, Kevin or Cristiane may consult with your family doctor for a referral to an ENT specialist or a neurologist.
Vertigo can be extremely disruptive and distressing. The good news is that, thanks to our specialized diagnostic equipment and Kevin and Cristiane's techniques, we are able to resolve many cases of acute vertigo in only one treatment at our clinics. If you are experiencing vertigo symptoms, such as feeling the room spinning with head movements, or other dizziness, book in for a full vestibular assessment so we can help you get back on track.

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