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Dizziness Physiotherapy

Dizziness is a common problem, especially among older adults.

In fact, for people over the age of 65, dizziness is one of the most common reasons for physician visits and hospitalizations. Regardless of the causes of dizziness, if you have it, please get medical help as soon as possible.

Dizziness—and the balance problems that may come with it—can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Inner ear disorders ("vestibular disorders") such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • Injury or trauma to the inner ear
  • Diseases such as arthritis or diabetes
  • Brain disorders such as Parkinson disease or stroke
  • Conditions such as low blood pressure
  • Use of certain medications

what does having dizziness feel like?

Some people have a spinning sensation ("vertigo,") which happens when you change the position of your head). Other patients report having a general feeling of unsteadiness, a rocking sensation as if on a boat, or as “lightheadedness.”

Dizziness can cause:

  • Difficulty walking (and balance problems)
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling tired
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Depression

Above all, dizziness can increase the risk for falls, which can be a serious health concern among older adults as falls often lead to orthopedic injuries, including

The earlier you get treatment, the better.

That's because your brain and inner ears are more likely to be able to work together during the early stages, so that’s when you have your best chance for full recovery.

how our senior physiotherapists can help

The good news: most dizziness and balance disorders can be successfully treated—and they are not an "inevitable" part of aging.

Our senior physiotherapist can perform tests to determine the causes and also to assess your risk of falling. Often, there is more than one reason for dizziness and falls in the same person.

Depending on the results of the tests, we may recommend further testing or consultation with your doctor.

Based on our senior physiotherapist's evaluation and your goals for recovery, we will customize a treatment plan for you. Our main focus is to help you get moving again and manage the dizziness at the same time. Exercise and new ways to perform daily activities are the primary treatments.

During your recovery, we will teach you strategies to help you cope with your symptoms:

  • Do certain activities or chores around the house cause you to become dizzy? We will show you how to do those activities in a different way to help reduce the dizziness.
  • Have simple activities become difficult and cause fatigue and more dizziness? We will help you work through these symptoms right away so you can get moving again and return to your roles at home and at work more quickly.

Physiotherapy treatments for dizziness can take many forms.

The type of exercise that our therapist designs for you will depend on your unique problems and might include exercises to

  • improve your balance
  • to improve your ability to focus your eyes and vision
  • to "correct" differences between your brain and your inner ears

The inner ears tell the brain how the body is moving in relation to gravity. They also communicate information about head motion, which is used to coordinate eye motion.

In addition to those exercises, we might prescribe exercises to

  • improve your strength
  • improve your flexibility
  • improve your heart health

—with the goal of improving your overall physical health and well-being.