Dizzy? Vertigo? Here Is What Your Physiotherapy Initial Assessment Will Look Like?

What Can You Expect at your Vertigo Assessment?

For the initial assessment, we advise that you are driven to and from the appointment by someone else.

The assessment may flare up the vertigo, cause cognitive confusion or just completely drain you! When you have vertigo, it confuses our brain and we have to work harder to complete automatic tasks, so you may be exhausted following the assessment.

It will be helpful if during the subjective part of the assessment you can identify which positions induce your vertigo (ie. rolling over in bed, looking up, bending over, etc.). Think about which positions you avoid. Those are usually the provoking positions!

During the objective part of the assessment, your assessing physiotherapist (PT) will provoke your symptoms to determine how to best treat you. Assessing vertigo requires a technique called the Dix-Hallpike and is based on the anatomy of the semi-circular canals (ie. your inner ear!). At the instruction of the PT, you will be required to move your head in specific ways. This test may provoke your symptoms and make you feel unwell – don’t worry, that is expected! For up to 48 hours following your assessment you may feel: generally unwell, cognitively foggy, nauseous, unsteady or off balance. But in
most cases, clients get relief when the assessment turns into effective treatment – this can happen in one treatment session if you have true BPPV!

There are many other tests that the PT will perform with you. Be prepared for balance exercises, vision tasks, coordination exercises, observational gait analysis and dynamic visual movement assessments. Please wear good supportive running shoes and glasses, if you need them.

It is common for there to be a re-occurrence of vertigo within a week of treatment, so don’t panic if your dizziness returns! Book a follow up assessment with your vestibular physiotherapist ASAP to mitigate the negative effects and increase the chances of remission following the second treatment. Vertigo is a disabling condition and comes on unexpectantly. The trained physiotherapists at A Body In Motion Rehabilitation are here to assess and effectively treat you so that you can return to life before vertigo!

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