Vertigo and dizziness are often used interchangeably when someone is trying to
describe a balance deficit to a healthcare provider, but they actually have very separate
meanings. The generic word “dizziness” is a catch all term for sensations of feeling off
balance, room spinning, foggy headedness, or even visual problems. Each of these, in
turn, are descriptions of very different causes of balance deficits that people suffer from.
A trained vestibular therapist, like those at Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers, will
skillfully ask questions of their patient to help hone in on, or identify, the root cause of
the patient’s complaints based on the more detailed descriptive answers the patient
Vertigo, the term often used synonymously with dizziness, is actually a very specific
description of a spinning sensation that occurs for a patient. This can be a sensation of
the room itself spinning or a sensation of the patient spinning. There are many possible
causes of vertigo that could be from a peripheral/vestibular origin or a central/brain
origin. A trained vestibular therapist will run a patient through a series of tests to help
identify that origin and allow the therapist to prescribe accurate treatments.
A feeling of being “off balance” is also a more specific description of the term dizziness.
This sensation may be more indicative of a patient that is suffering from an impairment
in the vestibular system itself. This is treated differently from a vertigo sensation
affecting the vestibular system; so it is critical for a therapist to help someone identify
which sensation they are truly experiencing.
Individuals, sometimes, even experience visual changes that make them use that
generic “dizziness” term. The trained staff at Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers
know to ask those probing questions needed to ferret out possible reports of visual
changes, which may imply a problem between your vestibular (inner ear system) and
ocular (vision) system. This complex vestibulo ocular reflex affects a person's balance
and has very specific visual exercises designed to get this reflex back into sync.
At Fyzical we have specialized equipment such as the Infrared Goggles which make a significant difference in the ability of the therapist to determine the cause of your dizziness as well as in treating that issue properly. To learn more about Fyzical's unique Infrared Google device click on "Infared Goggles" under "Vestibular Therapy".
If you are experiencing a feeling of “dizziness”, don’t hesitate to contact our skilled and
highly trained vestibular therapists at Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers
(717-591-3000). We will help you determine what that “dizziness” complaint really
means so we can provide you with the precise treatment for your problem!