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Physiotherapy & Mental Health
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The Epley maneuver is also called the particle repositioning, canalith repositioning procedure, and modified liberatory maneuver. It involves sequential movement of the head into four positions, staying in each position for roughly 30-120 seconds. The recurrence rate for BPPV after these maneuvers is about 30 percent at one year, and in some instances a second treatment may be necessary. After either of these maneuvers, you should be prepared to follow the instructions provided by your therapist.
The most common cause of BPPV in people under age 50 is head injury . There is also an association with migraine (Ishiyama et al, 2000). In older people, the most common cause is degeneration of the vestibular system of the inner ear. BPPV becomes much more common with advancing age (Froeling et al, 1991). In half of all cases, BPPV is called "idiopathic," which means it occurs for no known reason.
Viruses affecting the ear such as those causing vestibular neuritis , minor strokes such as those involving anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) syndrome", and Meniere's disease are significant but unusual causes. Occasionally BPPV follows surgery, where the cause is felt to be a combination of a prolonged period of supine positioning, or ear trauma when the surgery is to the inner ear (Atacan et al 2001).
The symptoms of BPPV include dizziness or vertigo, light headedness, imbalance, and nausea. Activities which bring on symptoms will vary among persons, but symptoms are almost always precipitated by a change of position of the head with respect to gravity. Getting out of bed or rolling over in bed are common "problem" motions. Because people with BPPV often feel dizzy and unsteady when they tip their heads back to look up, sometimes BPPV is called "top shelf vertigo." Women with BPPV may find that the use of shampoo bowls in beauty parlours brings on symptoms. An intermittent pattern is common. BPPV may be present for a few weeks, then stop, then return.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) dizziness is thought to be due to the collection of small crystals in the inner ear. BPPV is a common cause of dizziness. About 20% of all dizziness is due to BPPV. The older you are, the more likely it is that your dizziness is due to BPPV, as about 50% of all dizziness in older people is due to BPPV. In a recent study, 9% of a group of urban dwelling elders were found to have undiagnosed BPPV (Oghalai, J. S., et al., 2000).
More than 4 out of 10 people experience an episode of dizziness significant enough to send them to a doctor.