Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms reported after a concussion. Read on for some worthwhile tips and tricks to help reduce dizziness and speed up your concussion recovery.
Dizziness vs. Vertigo
It is important to note that dizziness is an umbrella term that can also include disorientation and unsteadiness, however for succinctness we will use the term dizziness to describe all feelings of not feeling secure in your body or in space.
A small population of patients will also experience vertigo (different than dizziness), which is the feeling that the room, or themselves, are literally spinning while they are having an episode. Dizziness does not usually involve the sensation of spinning.
1. Visit a certified Vestibular Therapist
The vestibular system is the sensory system in the inner ear that contributes to spatial awareness, balance, and coordinates eye movements. A head trauma like a concussion can cause vestibular dysfunction, leading to things like dizziness and vertigo.
A vestibular therapist provides vestibular rehabilitation to help restore normal vestibular function and teach the central nervous system to adapt. They can help decrease symptoms and improve quality of life.
Visit bcphysio.org and use the advanced search for vestibular rehabilitation to find a local certified therapist in British Columbia.
2. Try the Epley/Semont maneuver
If you notice that you are getting symptoms of vertigo when your head is turned or shifted in a particular position, you may find the Epley and Semont maneuvers beneficial. These are two exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – the kind that can often appear after a concussion.
These maneuvers are best done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. However, once you learn the exercise you can perform it by yourself at home. A single 10- to 15-minute session is usually all that is needed.
3. Use compression clothing or weighted vests
Tight clothing or pressure on your body from something like a weighted vest can improve your sense of security and where you are in space.
One of the reasons that dizziness is so alarming is because we lose awareness of our body and where other things are in space. If you can give your body a little more information about where it is, often that can help reduce your dizziness/vertigo.
4. Slow down your movements
Most of us are in the habit of getting up quickly, walking fast, and turning right and left whenever we feel like it. By slowing down your movements after a concussion, you can reduce the amount of times each day that you bring on symptoms of dizziness.
By getting up slowly, planting your feet solidly, and turning slowly, you can give yourself more energy and less cumulative symptoms throughout the day.
5. Visit a Behavioral/Functional Optometrist
Last but not least, visiting an Optometrist who has dealt with concussion patients, can be extremely valuable. Both your vestibular and visual systems are involved with keeping your balance and maintaining your awareness of where you are in space. Your vision literally helps to stabilize you.
The Performance Vision department at Fortius Sport and Health has helped over 450 clients resolve their post-concussion symptoms and get back to living their life.
In our Post-Concussion Vision Exams we take an in-depth look at how your vision is affecting your balance, posture, and spatial perception of the world. We can then use glasses, contact lenses, prisms and exercises to retrain your brain and decrease your dizziness.
In conclusion, using these tips in conjunction with visiting a certified Vestibular Therapist and a licensed Optometrist should be able to help address and treat the root cause of your symptoms.
Visit the Performance Vision page to learn more about our Post-Concussion Vision Exams or to book in today!
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