Dizziness or vertigo is the described as the feeling where the room is spinning around you or a loss of balance, and feeling like you are about to fall. There are many causes of vertigo although the two most common are BPPV and cervicogenic vertigo.
In your inner ear there are 3 little semicircular canals filled with fluid, which helps control your balance. Tilting or turning your head moves the fluid around in these canals, and nerves inside your ear pick up this movement, sending messages to your brain telling your head where it is in space. If some of this fluid crystalizes or some other debris enters the canals, and you tilt/turn your head a certain way, the fluid can get caught in a certain part of the canal. This can distort the messages being sent to your brain and now your head will be receiving two messages telling it different things. One from the canals, and one from your eyes. When these two messages no longer match up, your brain tries to compensate by blurring the two messages causing the feeling of dizziness. This is BPPV.
Cervicogenic dizziness is usually accompanied by neck pain and headaches, and is thought to be caused by excessively tight muscles pulling on the skull.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Feeling of falling/room spinning.
- Only happens with certain head movements.
- Can occur with or without a headache/neck pain.
- Vertigo lasting from several seconds to minutes.
- Potential history of head trauma or whiplash.