Have you been dealing with vertigo (spinning dizziness) or any other form of dizziness for more than 6 weeks? Did it start after an Acute Vertigo Spell?
It may come and go away completely, or you may have good days and bad days or it may be constantly there. You may have heard that it would go away or that you should just keep active and that it will get better…. but it hasn’t! Are you noticing that you are avoiding moving? You may be still reducing your level of activity and feeling apprehensive that if you move too much, the vertigo may come back.
While it is a natural reaction to reduce and even avoid movements that may provoke dizziness, this is in fact a counter-productive measure in most of the cases. First, you will reduce input on the centres of the brain reading your head movement. This will prevent the reorganization of the connections that may have been affected, contributing to your dizziness. Movements will then continue to provoke dizziness. In addition to that, in order to reduce movement, particularly head movements, we tend to hold neck and shoulders really tight, building considerable tension. These muscles may become sore. Unfortunately, overtime, moving may become increasingly uncomfortable for two reasons: not only will you feel dizzy but also you will experience neck and shoulder pain or discomfort.
It has been described that this cycle, when not addressed early, may expand to include avoidance of activities (professional, social, leisure), anxiety and fatigue. This expanded cycle has a greater impact on quality of life and will require more strategies to be effectively addressed.
In order to avoid getting into this cycle and start your journey to recovery, it is important to slowly but surely return to your regular level of activity and natural way of moving your body and head. However, if you have been having dizziness for more than 6 weeks and are finding it hard to find relief, book an appointment for vestibular assessment. This appointment will help determine whether the vestibular system (inner ear sensors for balance) is contributing to your dizziness. It may also help if it shows signs that the brain may actually be involved in the origin of your dizziness. Knowing what part of this complex system is likely to be the culprit will help us understand what you can expect from the recovery process and will guide us in putting together an individualized treatment plan.