Vertigo usually is described as a spinning sensation, whereas dizziness usually is described as “light-headedness.” Often, they have different causes and different treatments.

If you have vertigo accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms, immediately call 999 or emergency medical services:

  • Double vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • A change in alertness
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Inability to walk
  • Fainting and blackouts

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is the sensation of spinning, even when your perfectly still you might feel like you’re moving or that the room is moving around you. Most causes of vertigo involve the inner ear (Vestibular System). A number of conditions can produce vertigo such as:

  • Inner ear infections or disorders
  • Migraines
  • Tumours, such as acoustic neuroma
  • Surgery that removes or injures the inner ear or its nerves
  • Head injury that results in injury to the inner ears
  • A hole in the inner ear
  • Stroke

You might also have:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Abnormal eye movements

One of the most common forms of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, an inner ear problem that causes short periods of a spinning sensation when your head is moved in certain positions.


Your physiotherapist. At Alton Pain Clinic in Alton, Hampshire will use your answers to the following questions to help identify the cause of your vertigo and to determine the best course of treatment:

  • When did you first have vertigo (the sensation of spinning)?
  • What are you doing when you have vertigo (turning your head, bending over, standing perfectly still, rolling in bed)?
  • How long does the vertigo last (seconds, minutes, hours, days)?
  • Have you had vertigo before?
  • Do you have hearing loss, ringing, or fullness in your ears?
  • Do you have nausea with the spinning?
  • Have you had any changes in your heart rate or breathing?

Your physiotherapist will perform tests to determine the causes of your vertigo and to also assess your risk of falling. Depending on the results of the tests, your therapist may recommend further testing or consultation with your therapist.

How can a Physiotherapist Help?

based on your physiotherapists evaluation and your goals for recovery, the physiotherapists at Alton Pain Clinic in Alton, Hampshire will customize a treatment plan for you. The specific treatments will depend on the cause of your vertigo. Your therapists main focus is to help get you moving again and manage the vertigo at the same time. Treatment may include specialized head and neck movements or other exercises to help eliminate your symptoms. Conditions such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo have very specific tests and treatments.

If you have dizziness and a balance problem after your vertigo has stopped your physiotherapist can develop a treatment plan that targets those problems. Your physiotherapist will teach you strategies to help you cope with your strategies:

  • Do certain activities or chores around the house cause you to become dizzy? Your therapist will show you how to do those activities in a different way to help reduce the dizziness.
  • Have simple activities become difficult and cause fatigue and more dizziness? Your therapist will help you work through these symptoms right away so you can get moving again and return to your roles at home and at work more quickly.

Physiotherapy treatments for dizziness can take many forms. The type of exercise that your therapist designs for you will depend on your unique problems and might include:

  • Exercises to improve your balance
  • Exercises to help the brain “correct” differences between your inner ears
  • Exercises to improve your ability to focus your eyes and vision

In addition, your physiotherapist at Alton Pain Clinic in Alton, Hampshire might prescribe exercises to improve your strength, flexibility and your heart health with the goal of improving your overall physical health and well-being.