General | April 5, 2024

Understanding Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) And How Osteopathy Can Help

Dr Jarryd Crisp-OSTEOPATH | SENIOR OSTEOPATH-Double Bachelor of Health Science/Applied Science (Osteopathy), Bachelor of Health Sciences

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common inner ear disorder that causes brief episodes of dizziness or vertigo triggered by changes in head position. While BPPV is not life-threatening, it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Understanding the condition and how osteopathy can help manage its symptoms is crucial for those affected.

Understanding Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear, called otoconia, become dislodged and float into the semicircular canals. These canals are responsible for detecting rotational movement and help maintain balance. When otoconia move into the canals, they can interfere with the normal flow of fluid, sending incorrect signals to the brain about head position and movement, leading to vertigo.

Common symptoms of BPPV include brief episodes of vertigo triggered by changes in head position, such as turning over in bed, looking up, or bending down. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting, and a sense of imbalance.

How Osteopathy Can Help

Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that focuses on improving the body’s overall function by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. While it may not directly treat the underlying cause of BPPV, osteopathic treatment can help manage its symptoms and improve overall balance and mobility.

One of the key techniques used in osteopathy for BPPV is the Epley maneuver. This maneuver involves a series of head movements that can help reposition the displaced otoconia back into the utricle, a small organ in the inner ear responsible for detecting changes in head position. By repositioning the otoconia, the Epley maneuver can alleviate vertigo symptoms and restore normal balance function.

In addition to the Epley maneuver, osteopathic treatment for BPPV may include other manual techniques to improve overall balance and reduce dizziness. These techniques may involve gentle manipulation of the neck and spine to improve mobility and reduce tension in the muscles and joints that can contribute to vertigo.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common inner ear disorder that can cause significant discomfort and impact daily activities. While it may not be possible to cure BPPV, osteopathy can be an effective treatment option for managing its symptoms and improving overall balance and mobility. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of BPPV, consult with a qualified healthcare professional or osteopath to discuss treatment options.


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