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Vestibular Assessment at Milltown Physiotherapy

Here is Laura Fitzpatrick our physiotherapist with a special interest in Vestibular Assessment giving us the low down on BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), one of the most common causes of dizziness/spinning/vertigo.
It is a condition that she treats regularly at the clinic with great outcomes. Vestibular assessment is a special interest area of physiotherapy. It deals with dizziness and balance issues primarily.

What is BPPV?

BPPV is a condition arising in the inner ear. It is a sudden but short-lived sensation of spinning when your head is in a certain position, for eg. turning in bed or going from sitting to lying.
The dizziness can range from being mild to severe and there is normally a sudden onset of symptoms- one day you have no dizziness and the next you do.

Signs that you may have BPPV.

Nausea with or without vomiting associated with your spinning
Mild to severe spinning when you have your head in certain positions
A feeling of unsteadiness
Difficulty with balance

The spinning/dizzy sensation normally only lasts for a few seconds but sometimes can continue while your head remains in a certain position.

BPPV is not normally a serious condition, however it can be very worrying, so do seek treatment if you are concerned.

More women than men are affected by BPPV and having had a head injury can make you more susceptible to BPPV.

What causes BPPV?

Very often there is no known cause for your symptoms arising. This is known as idiopathic BPPV. Sometimes it coincides with an episode of illness, like a viral infection. It can also be caused by having your head in unusual positions like on the dentist chair.

Our ears play a major role in BPPV. We have 3 small canals in each of our ears, these are called semi-circular canals. These canals monitor the rotation of our head and help to tell us what way our head is positioned.

We also have tiny crystals in our inner ears which help make our bodies sensitive to gravity.
These crystals can become dislodged and end up in our semi-circular canals. This is what causes your spinning/dizziness. The canals have now become sensitive to movements that they would not normally respond to.

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Diagnosis and treatment

When you come for your assessment your physiotherapist will first take a complete history of your symptoms. They may ask about your cardiac history and about things like migraines, headaches and your hearing. This is to help rule out any other reason for your dizziness. If you have results of recent investigations like a brain CT or MRI, make sure to bring them with you to your assessment.

Then a number of tests will be performed on you to ascertain whether or not you have BPPV.

Once you have been diagnosed with BPPV your physiotherapist will then perform a repositioning manoeuvre. The aim of this is to reposition the crystals so that your semi-circular canals are no longer over sensitive to normal movements.This repositioning involves a number of specific head movements held for a certain amount of time. You should notice that your symptoms are much better with the re-test that will be carried out at the end of your assessment.

We do ask that you bring someone along with you to your assessment.

BPPV is just one of many vestibular conditions that can be treated with vestibular physiotherapy. Please ring the clinic if you would like any further information or to book an appointment.

partners

25 year anniversary party

We were delighted to open our doors on a glorious Friday in May to celebrate 25 years of service. It was great seeing some old friends, ex-colleagues and family attend. We had a karaoke to finish the night, with some impressive singing on show.

It has been an absolute privilege to be a part of this community, and here’s to the next 25 years!

Thanks for all your kindness and support.

Did you know that boxing training can help people with Parkinson’s?

A study by Combs et al in 2011, published in the Physical Therapy Journal discovered really interesting results.

They reported that “The boxing training program was feasible and safe for these patients with Parkinson’s disease. The patients in this case series showed short-term and long-term improvements in balance, gait, activities of daily living, and quality of life after the boxing training program. A longer duration of training was necessary for patients with moderate to severe PD”.

Have a look at this 60 second report here –

Emily Power Smith gives Ted Talk at Trinity College Dublin

Emily Power Smith gave a great talk titled “Better, Sex, Positivity: Three Interchangeable Words” at the TEDx event in Trinity College yesterday, Wednesday the 7th of March.

Click here for further info

Emily holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Sexology (the scientific study of human sexuality).

She is a Sex and Relationship Therapist and Coach, Sexuality Educator, Professional Trainer and, Facilitator. She writes a weekly sex and relationship column for the Evening Herald and is a regular contributor to the national press, radio, and TV.

Emily is Ireland’s only clinical sexologist and is passionately sex-positive and is currently hosts a clinic in Milltown Physiotherapy every week. Call us now for an appointment or further information.

She leaves judgment and outdated values at the door and talks from the heart about how sex can be fantastic if we choose. While Emily understands that not everyone wants to be sexual, her focus is on helping those who do to shed their shame, become educated and to feel empowered to express themselves.

Tennis Elbow – to inject or not to inject?

A really nice infographic courtesy of Professor Bill Vicenzino and Clinical Edge on tennis elbow. He looks at the treatment options, but also what the long term outcomes are post injection which makes for some interesting reading.

To Inject

We also must really recommend the Clinical Edge website which is a great resource for physiotherapists, helping to make current research nice and easy to bring into clinical practice.