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Balance, Dizziness and Vertigo

Vestibular Physical Therapy is a drug-free option to effectively treat symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, motion sensitivity and other balance disorders.

Download the flyers below to learn more about vestibular disorders and how physical therapy can help you:

Vestibular System 

Overview of the Vestibular System

The vestibular system is our “balance organ” and lies deep within the inner ear near the temporal bone of our skull.  Its main components are three semicircular canals (posterior, anterior, horizontal), the cochlea, utricle, and saccule.  The semicircular canals are responsible for sensing the direction and amplitude of head rotation.  The cochlea is our hearing organ.  The utricle senses motion in the horizontal plane, and the saccule senses motion in the vertical plane.  The utricle contains calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia), and if these crystals fall into the semicircular canal they lead to the false sense that the head and body are spinning.

Click below to watch one of our Vestibular Patient Success Story videos:

Common Vestibular Disorders:

1.  BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo):  BPPV is the most common and easily treated of the vestibular disorders.  It occurs when the otoconia in the utricle fall into one of the semicircular canals.  When this happens you will feel a sense of spinning or vertigo.  The vertigo most commonly occurs when you roll over in bed, look up, or bend over.  The vertigo usually lasts under a minute.  In addition to vertigo, you may feel unsteady and nauseous.  In most instances there is no cause, but can be caused in other instances by a fall or head trauma.

2.  Labryrinthitis / vestibular neuritis:  both diagnoses are commonly caused by a viral infection.  This infection causes inflammation of the vestibular nerve.  The main symptom is an acute onset of prolonged severe vertigo that is exacerbated by head movement associated with nausea and imbalance.  If temporary or permanent hearing loss also occurs with the above symptoms then a diagnosis of labrynthitis is made.

3.   Meiner’s Disease:  Meiner’s Disease: a diagnosis of Meiner’s is given when several attacks are experienced which involve fullness of the ear, reduced hearing, tinnitus (ringing in the ear) vertigo, imbalance, and nausea and vomiting.  When there is no attack hearing will return, but possibly not to baseline.

4.   Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV):  Approximately 35% of patients that have migraine have some kind of vestibular syndrome, at one point or another.  Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light, motion sickness, vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, imbalance, and neck pain.  The best course of treatment is a combination of medicine, physical therapy, and diet changes.  Physical therapy can assist in decreasing muscle tension, dizziness, and improving balance.

Meet Dr. Devin Wurman

Loudoun Sports Therapy Center

Physical Therapist and Certified Vestibular Specialist

Devin graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003 and has been a Certified Vestibular Specialist since 2005.

Devin is a skilled expert in treating patients who experience mild to severe dizziness and imbalance.  She uses proven techniques to address many issues that affect inner ear conditions.  Devin provides each patient with a personalized evaluation and treatment plan based on their specific needs and symptoms.