Dizziness may feel like vertigo (spinning), disequilibrium (unsteady), lightheaded, or motion sickness.
Common causes of dizziness:
Low blood pressure (Orthostatic hypotension)
- You may feel dizzy when you stand up quickly from a sitting or lying down position. If severe, this can cause you to pass out.
How PT can help: Improving your cardiovascular fitness will help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Be sure to also drink enough water and have a healthy level of sodium in your diet to help with blood pressure.
Inner ear problems (Vestibular system)
- Commonly referred to as Vertigo
- You may feel dizzy when you lie down on your back or turn your head to the side.
- Your vestibular system is in your inner ear and controls your balance. If this system isn’t working properly, you may feel dizzy, unbalanced, or nauseous.
How PT can help: Specific exercises can be used to correct your inner ear problem.
Visual processing issues
- You may feel dizzy or nauseous when you are in the car or move your head quickly
- Your eyes and your vestibular system work together. If your eyes aren’t moving how they should, this can affect your vestibular system and make you feel dizzy.
How PT can help: Exercises can help correct your eye movements and get your visual system synchronized with your vestibular system.
Muscle tension (Tension headache)
- Tension in your neck and shoulders can lead to headaches and feeling dizzy.
How PT can help: Exercises and stretches can be used to normalize the tissue tension in your neck and shoulders. Your PT can also help you with maintaining good posture to prevent muscle tension.
Brain injury (Stroke, TIA, traumatic brain injury)
- These injuries can affect the areas of your brain that control your balance.
How PT can help: Exercises can help improve your balance by challenging both your muscles and your brain.
- You may feel dizzy, foggy, have a headache, or have neck pain after a head trauma
How PT can help: Your PT can assess your baseline and help you return to activity and stimulation at an appropriate pace.