Dizziness

 

There are many different causes of dizziness some of which can be helped with Physiotherapy treatment.

Some common problems that I would see are:

  • Dizziness that has resulted after a head injury or more mild concussion. Physiotherapy treatment for this usually consists of exercises to improve the head and eye co-ordination and balance.
  • BPPV which is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Clients with this usually complain of a short duration spinning sensation which occurs when they change position suddenly such as lying down or rolling over. It is cause by crystals in the ear falling off and floating around in the ear canal. This can usually be resolved following one treatment where the crystals are moved out of the canals by preforming a specific manoeuvre.
  • Cervical Dizziness. This is dizziness that is a result of problems with the neck joints or muscles. Treatment is generally mobilisation and massage.
  • Vestibular neuritis. This is where the nerve to one ear has been affected and isn’t working properly. This leads to one ear sending different messages to the brain than the other and dizziness results. Specific exercises are given to treat this problem.

 

There are some other problems such as Meniere’s disease which have dizziness that physiotherapy does not help.

The initial assessment for dizziness lasts an hour so we can be thorough and identify what the underlying cause of the dizziness is, and then proceed to appropriate treatment.

 

 


Headaches

Does physiotherapy help with headaches?

In some cases yes – if your headaches are due to a problem in the top 3 vertebrae of your neck or if there is a problem with the neck muscles or your posture.

How can you tell?

Generally if your headaches are related to your neck you will also be experiencing neck pain and/or stiffness or muscle tension in the neck.

Your posture may also be affected.

Why does the neck cause the headache?

The muscle and joints of the neck can refer pain into the head a bit like back pain can cause leg pain.

What can you do to help yourself?

Make sure you keep good posture when you are sitting, standing and working. Aim to change your position regularly.

Warm heat can help ease muscle tension as well as gentle neck stretches.

What can physiotherapists do to treat neck pain?

Physiotherapists first assess to see if the neck could be a contributor to the headache and then assess what structures are causing the pain. The physiotherapist can then discuss what treatment would work the best. Treatment could include

  • postural exercises
  • strengthening exercises
  • massage
  • mobilisation
  • manipulation
  • acupuncture.

Breathing

At this time of year with all the stress that is surrounding us, we can easily get caught up in it. As the tension builds our shoulders start to migrate towards our ears, we develop tightness and pain in our shoulders as well as our neck, our breathing gets faster and we feel our shoulders heaving as we breathe. It is also important to take some time each day to stop and wind down.  Let your mind relax, let your shoulders relax and let that breath move down into the bottom of your lungs.

Occasionally you can get caught up in a cycle of stress and poor breathing and find it difficult to break this cycle.  You might find that you start to feel all sorts of worrying symptoms. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Chest pain
  • physical tension
  • blurred vision
  • feeling confused
  • faster, deeper breathing
  • short of breath
  • tight feelings in your chest
  • bloated feeling in stomach
  • tingling fingers
  • unable to breathe deeply
  • stiff fingers or arms
  • tight feelings around the mouth
  • cold hands or feet
  • racing heart
  • feelings of anxiety

These symptoms can all be linked to a poor breathing pattern.  If you are having any of these symptoms it is especially important to take the time to relax and correct your breathing pattern.

If you are having trouble getting back on top of things and you would like some extra help, come in and see Lena, our certified BradCliff practitioner for breathing pattern disorders.