Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just Bring It!!

There comes a time in some of our lives where we have to get...kinda crazy and say, "JUST BRING IT!"  There are fears that hold us down, prior failures that keep us caged.  Sometimes bad memories of things that happend years ago cause us to experience the same terrible event daily. 

When dizziness strikes, many have a hard time forgetting what they felt.  Sometimes it never goes away.  When it hangs around, it can punish an individual every time they move.  If individuals who are battling dizziness have been cleared by their Doctors and they are terrified of moving for fear the problem could become worse, there may be a time when they need to dive into that sensation. 

I have witnessed amazing progress in people who develop somewhat of a crazy mentality of, "It's good to be dizzy" and they look forward to feeling the problem.  These individuals adapt a "just bring that dizziness my way and I will crush it" mentality.   It's amazing to witness the transformation in these individuals lives.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We are thankful for

healthy balance systems that allow us to move, feel movement and see clearly when we move without having to think about it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A highly sensitive person

may have minimal nystagmus, but perceive intense spinning.  I am fascinated by the variation in the way people perceive nystagmus.  I have seen some individuals with minimal nystagmus have a very intense response and report of dizziness while other individuals who have highly intense nystagmus have a minimal response.  In most individuals, the characteristics of their nystagmus matches their subjective complaints.   I have also noted that the highly sensitive person may tend to battle Migraines, Motion Sickness and Fibromyalgia.

Here is a great website that shares more details regarding the highly sensitive person:

There is also a self test on this site the individual can take.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Should a sick neck or a sick ear be treated first?

For instance, if an individual is suffering with BPPV and has severe neck pain...and can barely move their neck, which should be treated first?  In my opinion, generally speaking, the BPPV should be treated first if the goal is to help the person get rid of their problem as quickly and comfortably as possible.  One might ask, won't you hurt the neck more by completing the repositioning maneuvers?  The way I complete repositioning maneuvers, the answer is no.  I complete repositioning maneuvers working toward minimal stress to the neck through proper positioning, pillow placement and manual therapy table use. 

Once BPPV is corrected, the vestibulocollic reflex is no longer hyperactive, the individual is no longer punished for trying to move their neck and the neck pain/discomfort usually resolves very quickly without even having to begin neck therapy.

Stay tuned for more entries on when the neck should be treated prior to the ear when individuals are dizzy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sometimes you have to use a cane

to make it through an acute vestibular attack.  Many of my clients believe they are "giving up" if they use a cane.  However, I believe if an individual is battling an inner ear problem that has not yet been corrected and they are having a difficult time walking safely, they should use a cane.  I think of a cane for a person with a vestibular problem like crutches for a person who broke their leg.  A person who brakes their leg will be able to quit using crutches once the leg has healed.  Once an individual's inner ear has healed, oftentimes they will be able to walk without a cane.

If an individual is not sure whether or not they should use a cane, physical therapists are trained in assesing fall risk.  They may use tests to help them determine whether or not a cane is needed.  Some of the tests used may be the Berg Balance Test, the Timed Up and Go and the Functional Gait Assessment.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Using adrenaline

to have better balance works for some individuals.  I have noticed that individuals who suffer vestibular disorders often perform better during competitive intense training.  When they are driven to remain focused and are competing to win, their balance performance greatly improves.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Battling the enemy and winning

requires we know how the enemy sounds, moves, thinks and reacts to our efforts to stop it.  Problems causing dizziness are the enemies I battle all day in the clinic.  These problems are definitely the enemy of anyone battling dizziness.  Dizziness is terrifying and greatly harms an individual's quality of life.  To help win the war over dizziness, we must be able to identify the enemy.  We need to be able to do the following:
1.  Identify the kinds of sounds it makes.  In other words, how does the person's dizziness make them feel?  What dizzy language does it make them speak?
2.  How does it move the person?  In other words, how does the cause of dizziness impact the person's ability to move?  What does it do to their eyes, neck and balance muscles?
3.  How does it move within the person?  Is the problem causing the dizziness remaining consistent in it's attack approach or is it changing it's strategy?  Does it come and go within seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, days and/or months?  Does it attack at varying levels of intensity?
4.  How does it respond to termination attempts?   When implementing a variety of types of vestibular rehab and other therapy approaches, does it go away as expected?