Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

By Brent Vanderloop
Vestibular Physiotherapist at Life Ready Physio Midland

The vestibular system is a part of your inner ear that helps you to control balance. When it has been injured you may experience dizziness, vertigo and/or balance issues.

The term dizziness refers to a range of uncomfortable sensations, including feeling light-headed, feeling faint, losing your normal sense of balance, feeling ‘woozy’ and having a false feeling of your body spinning around or moving to one side. The term vertigo refers more specifically to a false sense of spinning or sideways movement.

The vestibular system is a complex organ that senses positional orientation as well as movement of the head. There is an organ in your inner ear on both sides. It consists of two Otoliths called the Utricle and Saccule which detect linear position/movement, plus three semicircular canals which detect rotational movement.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is caused by calcium crystals becoming detached from the Otolith membrane and migrating into one of the semicircular canals. This will cause bouts of vertigo on changing positions (e.g. getting out of bed). Depending on which canal the crystals migrate to while cause corresponding symptoms.

It is important to note there are many other conditions which can cause dizziness and/or vertigo that I treat as well being a vestibular physiotherapist. It is most important to ensure a thorough assessment to achieve a correct diagnosis and once I have reached a diagnosis, an individualised treatment plan will be developed tailored to your needs. Appropriate treatment and a home exercise program will be provided to help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.

For more information on BBPV, you are welcome to contact me directly – brent@lifereadyphysio.com.au or phone our Life Ready Midland team on 9250 7772.