Dizziness and Vertigo

dizziness, vertigo, BPPV Sep14th 2020

Experiencing dizziness is a common patient complaint: “70% of people in the U.S. will be affected by dizziness or balance issues during their lives”.

Dizziness is characterized by the sensation of lightheadedness, faintness, or unsteadiness. Vertigo on the other hand, which is often confused with dizziness, is the perception of movement or whirling/spinning sensation.  Both vertigo and dizziness can be due to problems within the vestibular system.  Everyone will experience dizziness occasionally, but if the sensation is common or frequent, then you may have vestibular dysfunction.



Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

  • Most common dizziness disorder 
  • Caused by the otoconia (crystals) in the inner ear dislodging.  The receptors then become free floating particles that cause people to feel dizzy.  

Other types of vestibular disorders include:

  • Cervicogenic dizziness where a person will experience dizziness due to neck problems.  
  • Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis, which are inflammations caused by a virus that can lead to vestibular dysfunction.
  • Migraine associated vertigo, which is characterized by head pain along with some form of dizziness or sensitivity to light.

There are many more vestibular disorders that can cause symptoms of dizziness, but despite the fact that there are numerous disorders, the symptoms are easily treatable with the proper diagnosis and therapy.


Treatment for Dizziness

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT)

  • Exercise-based program
  • Designed to promote central nervous system compensation for inner ear deficits. 
  • Can help with BPPV, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuritis.

Canalith repositioning procedure (CRP)

  • Designed to move the displaced otoconia (crystals) within the semicircular canals, which cause symptoms of dizziness.  
  • Type of maneuver is based off of which semi-circular canal is contributing to dizziness
  • Can help with BPPV

Both of these types of rehabilitative therapy can be performed by Physical Therapists who have specialized training and experience in treating patients with vestibular disorders.

Living with vestibular disorders can be challenging, but with the proper care and treatment, you can live a normal, non-dizzy life.  If you live in the Orland Park or Homer Glen Area and would like information about therapy for dizziness and vertigo please contact us for more information.


Vestibular Disorders Association. Understanding Vestibular Disorders (2013).

www.vestibular.org Sidak, J., Balance Problems: I’m so Dizzy… Healthy Cells Magazine. July 2007: 24