Are you suffering from Vertigo or have Vestibular conditions?

Sports & Spinal have expert physiotherapists in Vestibular Rehab, Neurological Rehab and Fall Prevention treatments.

Our Vestibular physios are available throughout the Sports and Spinal’s clinics which cover a wide region from Brisbane to Sunshine Coast.

Our physios have all undergone postgraduate studies in the treatment and diagnosis of vestibular and neurological conditions.

Find out how we can help you!

What is Vestibular?

Vestibular conditions may present with a variety of symptoms including dizziness, vertigo, balance disturbances, nausea, vomiting, rocking or spinning sensations, blurred vision, fatigue or unsteadiness. Anxiety and depression may also feature or be a natural result of living with vestibular symptoms.

Vestibular Rehab

Using high level technology (infrared goggles) our Physiotherapists are trained to assess subtle movements of the eye in reaction to certain clinical tests. These movements (Nystagmus) arise when there is an imbalance in the Vestibular/Inner Ear System. Your Vestibular System is responsible for keeping your eyes and gaze steady, especially during head movements. If your Vestibular System is imbalanced (one side damaged/affected) your eyes can slightly drift towards the ‘affected’ side. Your brain then ‘centrally compensates’ to correct this and in turn your eyes ‘flick’ back to the centre. This ‘flick’ back is what is most obvious during the Nystagmus observation. There are many different patterns of Nystagmus E.G. horizontal, torsional, vertical, in all different directions, and these can be in numerous combinations. Nystagmus are the key to diagnosis as certain patterns represent specific Vestibular or Central Disorders.

Vertigo

Vertigo is the sensation that either you or the world is rotating. Episodes can last for a few minutes or be constant. Attacks may be associated with specific movements like rolling over in bed, turning to look over your shoulder, looking up or down a flight of stairs, or may take you completely by surprise. You may experience vertigo from the extreme sport of standing upright without moving at all! Vertigo can have a big impact on your function. You may not be able to do things you used to enjoy. It can be overwhelming to concentrate or complete basic tasks when your world is spinning, or you feel like you are standing on shifting sand.

What are the symptoms of Vertigo?

Other symptoms can include light-headedness, feeling faint, headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating or blurred vision. Sometimes you can feel like you veer off to one side when you walk or struggle to keep your balance.

What are the causes of Vertigo?

There are many causes of vertigo, but problems arise when the three main balance systems in your body are not telling your brain the same information. These 3 systems are the balance organs in the inner ear (called the vestibular system), the position sensors in your joints and muscles, especially the neck and feet, and your eyes. Dysfunction can occur in one or any combination of these three systems, or in the processing of this information in the brain. These systems can also deteriorate as part of the normal ageing process which adds another challenge.

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system is made up of 3 semi-circular canals in each ear that are filled with fluid. Tiny hairs inside these canals sense when this fluid shifts as you move your head and tell your brain whether you are upright or tipped at an angle. The most common dysfunction is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). In this disorder, microscopic crystals in the canals of the vestibular system are dislodged through trauma, illness or the normal aging process. Movement of these crystals in the vestibular system can trick the brain into thinking your head is tilted when your vision is telling you your head is straight resulting in an overwhelmed, spinning sensation. More complex dysfunction includes complete loss of function in one or both of the inner ears. Fortunately, the brain can be trained to compensate for the complete loss of function in this vestibular system by strengthening the use of vision and/or good postural awareness of the head and neck alignment. Other factors include vestibular migraines and the high association between headaches, migraines, and vertigo.

How can the Physio’s @ Sports & Spinal help me with Vertigo?

Our physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat dysfunction of the vestibular system and your balance. You don’t need a referral and our clinicians also screen for more serious causes of vertigo such as Meniere’s disease, or vestibular neuritis. We will refer you to a GP if you need to undertake further testing such as CT scans or blood tests. We also assess your posture and any neck or migraine issues you may experience.

Treatment involves Vestibular rehabilitation therapy to treat primary and secondary causes of vertigo. It is an exercise-based program combined with mobilisation of the head and body to correct deficiencies within the vestibular system and strengthen the processing of balance information in the brain.

How does Physiotherapy help?

  1. Improved balance
  2. Reduced tension of muscles, headaches and more energy.
  3. Symptoms of dizziness and vertigo and nausea will decrease or disappear

Many times, vestibular physiotherapy is so successful that no other treatment is required.

Vestibular Team @ Sports & Spinal

Briony McSwan

Briony has been with Sports and Spinal since 1998. She has a wealth of experience in all areas of physiotherapy but for over a decade has focussed particularly on the treatment and management of head, neck and jaw pain, as well as dizziness and vestibular dysfunction.

Briony has achieved Competency level Vestibular training and has been a Watson Headache practitioner for over 15 years. Watson techniques for headaches are internationally recognised and renowned and can be a breakthrough in the management of chronic headache and migraine.

Briony is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Maroochydore location

David Stevens

Since qualifying as a Physiotherapist in 2002 David has worked in both the NHS and the private sector treating a variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Using a holistic approach he is able to tailor treatment to the individual and their goals. His areas of expertise are Cervicogenic headaches and shoulder injury. Working closely with shoulder surgeons in the UK has given David a sound understanding of the role that Physiotherapy has in the management and rehabilitation of complex shoulder conditions.

David is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Buderim location.

Julie Gear 

Julie graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand in 1998 and has gained a wealth of experience working in busy clinics around the world, including a professional sports centre in France, the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London and a clinic in the ski resort of Verbier in Switzerland. She has worked with rugby teams in New Zealand and the England Volleyball team in the UK.

Julie has postgraduate training in ergonomics and Pilates, and is also a qualified acupuncturist having studied both in the UK and in China. Julie combines her training in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Intra-Muscular Stimulation with traditional physiotherapy treatment techniques for optimum results.

Julie has a special interest in spinal problems and headaches.

Julie is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Caloundra location.

Alana Dinsdale

Alana is a passionate physiotherapist who is experienced in working with a wide range of musculoskeletal complaints. She enjoys the challenge of finding and addressing the root cause of a problem, and works closely with her patients and other health professionals to deliver the best treatment possible.

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from UQ in 2012, Alana has gone on to further her knowledge through various conferences and courses.

She has developed a particular interest in spinal rehabilitation, and treatment of neck pain, TMJ dysfunction and headaches. Alana uses a number of techniques with her patients including dry needling, manual therapy, exercise prescription and pilates.

Alana is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Chermside location.

Contact your local clinic to book in with one of our Vestibular Physiotherapist