Common conditions

Symptoms of Vertigo

Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off balance or dizziness and giddiness or that you or your surroundings are moving. It can also be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating and difficulty walking or standing up.

Vertigo can last for seconds to a few hours, severe vertigo can last for months.

Someone suffering from vertigo can find it difficult to do everyday tasks such as driving or work.

Vertigo Causes

Vertigo is a symptom of various illnesses or disorders or as a result of simply standing up too quickly from sitting or lying down. It can also be a result of:

  • Dehydration
  • Taking medication
  • Anxiety
  • Sinus infections
  • Drinking caffeine or alcohol
  • Tiredness
  • Eye muscle imbalance
  • Travel or motion sickness
  • Problems in the inner ear

Problems in the Inner Ear

Some of the most common causes of vertigo are from problems in the inner ear.

The inner ear has canals that contain fluid that when we move from one position to the next send feedback to the brain about where we are and what position we are in. There are also crystals within the inner ear called Otoconia and occasionally they can move the fluid and send signals to the brain that the person is moving, when they are not, which can lead to symptoms of vertigo.

Some inner ear conditions include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
    This is the sensation of dizziness or spinning from a sudden change in head position. It usually passes in a few seconds.
  • Labyrinthitis
    Labyrinthitis is an infection of the inner ear, usually caused by a virus leading to inflammation and loss of hearing and a sensation of violent sea sickness.
  • Ménière’s disease
    This is a long term condition that can progressively worsen. Symptoms include vertigo, tinnitus, hearing and pressure in the ear.

Vertigo Treatment

  • Eat well and exercise to help your physical well being as well as your mood
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, meditation or a fun hobby
  • Seek professional help if the symptoms of vertigo are persistent and the sooner the symptoms are diagnosed and treated the better the prognosis

At City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy we will first look at the causes of vertigo, by taking a full case history and including physical, orthopaedic and neurological examinations to diagnose accurately. If necessary for more serious conditions we will refer to a specialist for further investigation.


Can stress cause vertigo?

Stress can cause vertigo for a few reasons. When we are stressed we tend to breathe higher up into our chest, using the accessory muscles of respiration in the upper back, shoulders and neck, rather than abdominal breathing and using our diaphragm. This can lead to tension in the neck and shoulders, leading to a change in neck posture and sending false signals to the brain about the position of the body, causing cervical vertigo. Stress can also exacerbate other illnesses in the body that may be causing symptoms of vertigo.

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