Woman clutching her head because of a dizziness episode

We’re all familiar with the benefits of physical therapy after surgery, when recovering from a sports injury, or when helping you gain the mobility and strength to get down on the floor to play with your grandkids. But have you ever considered seeing your Physical Therapist for your dizziness?

Symptoms of Dizziness

Physical Therapists in your area are trained to evaluate, differentially diagnose, and treat many causes of dizziness. Common symptoms evaluated and successfully treated by a Physical Therapist include:

  • Vertigo (sensation that the room is spinning about you)
  • Lightheadedness or a floating sensation
  • Feeling off balance
  • Difficulty keeping words in focus when reading
  • Difficulty walking a straight line
  • Any time my neck hurts, I get dizzy!
Physical therapist in Washington, DC treating woman with dizziness due to BPPV

Causes of Dizziness

A Physical Therapist is a critical and trusted member of your healthcare team that is essential for accurate diagnosis and optimal recovery from a number of diagnoses commonly associated with dizziness. Listed below are just a few of the common diagnoses that your Physical Therapist can help with:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Post-Concussion Dizziness
  • Post-Motor Vehicle Accident Dizziness
  • Vestibular Neuritis
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Cervicogenic Dizziness (related to your neck)
  • And more.

Treatment for Dizziness

After a thorough hands-on evaluation and consultation with your healthcare team your Physical Therapist will develop a complete plan of care to help you understand and overcome your dizziness. Treatment techniques utilized by your Physical Therapist may include:

  • Corrective Maneuvers for BPPV (i.e. Epley Maneuver, BBQ Roll, Semont Maneuver, etc.)
  • Habituation Exercises 
  • Manual Therapy (hands on treatment)
  • Postural Correction Techniques
  • Balance and Gait Training
  • Mobility and Stability Exercises
  • Work and home-related ergonomic recommendations
  • Education to help you understand your dizziness

The exercises your Physical Therapist will prescribe will provide a variety of benefits to help with your inner ear or neck-related dizziness. The exercises can help to even out the signal between the two sides of your inner ear, they can help you readjust to the visual blurriness when you turn your head or walk, they can improve your balance and can even help to stabilize your neck to keep certain types of dizziness from coming on!

Man working on his balance with his physical therapist in his home

Physical Therapists are one of the many options to help you understand and overcome your dizziness. Often a Physical Therapist will be able to get you in the office the day your symptoms start, making diagnosis and treatment quick and effective. Your Physical Therapist is trained to recognize when the symptoms do not fit within our treatment scope and will always help you navigate to the best and safest practitioner to begin your treatment.

You have trusted your Physical Therapist with your neck, shoulder, low back, and hip pain. The next time you experience your dizziness, know that you can trust your Physical Therapist.

Meet the Author…

Dr. Fred Gilbert, Physical therapist with MovementX in Arlington, VirginiaDr. Fred Gilbert jumping in a MovementX shirt
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Dr. Fred Gilbert is an orthopedic and vestibular physical therapist in Arlington, Virginia. He believes in a healthcare world beyond clinic walls and beyond the restraints of insurance. He provides customized care tailored to your interests. As a residency-trained orthopedic physical therapist Dr. Fred has years of experience empowering clients to adopt the movement mindset. Movement is the gateway to how we experience life – and when we move well the sky’s the limit.

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