Patient Story

About six months ago I got out of bed as normal, but as I sat up I had an intense burst of dizziness, so bad that I had to hold onto the side of the bed to stop myself from falling. Fortunately it only lasted for about one minute.

"I am so grateful for the treatment I received"
Linda Wallace, West Midlands

After that, the horrible dizziness came on every time I sat up, lay down or rolled over in bed. I was terrified that there was something seriously wrong with me, so I booked to see my GP.

The GP did many checks and tests to make sure there were no problems with my heart or blood pressure. I felt reassured that all the se tests were clear, but was still suffering with the same vertigo problem. Because the problem continued, my GP referred me to an ENT consultant, who organised a brain scan to rule out any serious problems, and referred me to physiotherapy.

I was a bit puzzled by this, as I had never heard that physiotherapy could help vertigo. I went along to the appointment as advised, but was really not sure what to expect.

The physiotherapist took all the details of my problem, and listened very carefully to what I had to say. She also asked me specific questions about the dizziness and about my general health. After we had chatted for a while, Jane Wood (physiotherapist) said it sounded as if some of the crystals in my inner ear had come loose. She then showed me the manoeuvre that was recommended to confirm and treat the problem. I had to lie on my back and Jane supported my head in a funny position, she warned me that the procedure would make me very dizzy-which it did. I had to roll over a couple of times keeping my head in certain positions, and then slowly come back to sitting. The treatment only took a few minutes- I couldn’t believe that was all it needed.

Jane advised me that I might feel a bit off balance for the rest of that day, but in the majority of cases, that one treatment solves the problem. That night when I went to bed there was no spinning, I felt fine for the first time in months.

Since then I have been fine, but if it ever comes back I will go straight to the physiotherapist.

I am so grateful for the treatment I received. 

Linda Wallace, West Midlands

Jane Wood, Chartered Physiotherapist says:

This is what is known as BPPV, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

It is a surprisingly common disorder, with no apparent cause that can affect anyone of any age.

It happens when some of the particles which are normally in the central area of the inner ear come loose. The particles can then move around the semi circular canals (like a marble in a marble run) when your head changes position. Typically this will happen when moving from sitting to lying, rolling over in bed or bending down.

In the majority of cases it only takes one or two treatment session to relocate the particles to where they should be- thus stopping the dizziness.

I would advise anyone with these symptoms to initially see their GP for a health check, and then a referral to physiotherapy for a full assessment.

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