Chances are, if you are reading this article you are one of the many people who have searched the internet looking up the different causes of dizziness. This blog will explain the systems involved with balance, how our balance system works, common problem, and how physical therapy can help you!
Systems Involved with Balance
Our brain is constantly receiving and analyzing information from our body systems to help maintain our balance. Here is a brief overview of the three main systems involved. Somatosensory is the information from joints and body positioning makes up 70%. Vestibular is the information from fluid movement in the inner ear makes up 20%. Vision is the final 10% of our balance.
How Does the Vestibular System Work?
There are three semicircular canals of the inner ear that use fluid movement to relay information to the brain (see figure 1). The hair follicles, in a stair step pattern, sense the fluid direction changes to relay head positioning to the brain. Each side of the brain is receiving signals from the ear that should correspond with the opposite side.
Figure 1. Photo: Mayo Education and Research
Otoconia (see figure 1) or sometimes referred to as “crystals” can become dislodged and alter fluid movement creating mixed signals. These mixed signals confuse the brain, which causes dizziness.
The Fix is In!
Have no fear, your physical therapist can help! A vestibular examination will determine which side and canal is affected. Repositioning maneuver of the otoconia or “crystals” takes just minutes and can resolve dizziness in as little as one treatment. Contact us today online or by calling 866-588-0230.