What is Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo?
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo is a brief, intense episode of vertigo occurring because of a specific change in the position of the head. If you have BPPV, you may feel like you’re spinning when you look for an object on a high or low shelf or turn your head to look over your shoulder (such as when you back up your car). You may also experience BPPV when you roll over in bed. BPPV is caused when otoconia tumble from the utricle into one of the semicircular canals and weigh on the cupula (See Balance Disorder Page). The cupula cannot tilt properly and sends conflicting messages to the brain about the position of the head, causing vertigo. BPPV sometimes may result from a head injury or just from getting older.
The symptoms of BPPV can include:
• Sudden episodes of violent vertigo
• Vertigo may last half a minute or so
• The eyes may drift and flick uncontrollably (nystagmus)
• Movements of the head trigger the attacks
If you have a balance disorder called Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo, The Ashgrove Spinal Centre’s chiropractor, Dr Robert Bailey, might prescribe a series of simple movements (called the Epley maneuver) to help dislodge the otoconia from the semicircular canal. You begin the Epley maneuver by sitting upright, with the help of a trained therapist, then quickly lie down on your back, turn your head to one side and wait for a minute or two before sitting back up again. For some people, one session will be all that is needed, others may need to repeat treatments over several days before their dizziness is completely resolved.
The following services are relevant to this condition: