Do you feel dizzy when you change positions?  If so, you may have a common condition of dizziness called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV for short.

Common movements that trigger dizziness with this condition is rolling over in bed, getting in and out of bed, bending over, or making quick head movements.

Typical symptoms that occur with BPPV include:

  • Dizziness
  • The room appears to be spinning around
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of balance

During each bout of dizziness, it is typically short lived and lasts for approximately 1 minute.

How Does BPPV occur?

In the ear there are structures that monitor the movement and position of our head. These structures contain crystals that when dislodged can affect our ability to correctly sense head positional changes resulting in sensations of dizziness.

Contributors to BPPV include:

  • Can occur without cause
  • Head injuries – car accidents, whiplash, sports
  • Having your head held in the same position for an extended period of time
  • Inner ear disorders

To diagnose whether an individual has vertigo/BPPV or not, the Dix Hallpike test is performed.

Dix Hallpike Test

  • the individual is placed in the long sit position on a plinth
  • the head is turned in one direction
  • the individual is quickly guided down towards the plinth with their head lowered down below the level of the plinth

Here is an example of the test being performed:

*When the test is performed, often the health care practitioner is looking for provocation of symptoms and nystagmus (repetitive uncontrolled eye movements). This test should only be performed by a health care practitiner.

In the presence of a positive test, the health care practitioner will take you through a series of movements (Epley Manuever) to assist with elimination of the symptoms.

At Movement Performance Centre, we understand that there are multiple possible causes of dizziness. Through a series of tests, we will identify the root cause of the dizziness and treat it accordingly to help you get back to the activities you enjoy.

Author: Zachary Hum MScPT BAKin