This wordy mouthful is a particular type of short duration, rotational dizziness or vertigo that is triggered by a change in head position - for instance when turning over in bed. BPPV is caused by disturbances in the balance receptors of the semicircular canal, buried deep within the inner ear. Sometimes, particularly as we get older, calcium deposits accumulate within the fluid of the inner ear and these tiny 'otoconia' can irritate the sensitive nerve endings, tricking our brain into thinking that we're moving when we're not. A simple test, called the Hallpike test, can be used to diagnose BPPV. Chiropractors are trained to carry out this test and diagnose BPPV and differentiate it from the other types of dizziness that may occur.
Medication has little effect in the treatment of this uncomfortable complaint, but there is a simple procedure that can be carried out that helps to reposition the otoconia within the semicircular canal so that they cease to irritate the sensitive nerve endings. This procedure, called the Epley manoeuvre, consists of specific sequence of head and body movements that reposition the loose fragments in the inner ear. The Epley manoeuvre is usually successful in 9 out of 10 cases, and can be repeated if the symptoms return. Not only can chiropractors diagnose BPPV but chiropractors can perform the Epley maneouvre too. So, if you're suffering from dizziness and find that medication isn't helping, it might be worth asking if we can fix it at the Llangefni Chiropractic Clinic!