"The room spins out of control every time I lay down or get up," was the complaint of a recent patient at Payson Physical Therapy.
The symptoms were sudden, scary and recognized by her physician as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
Using a "repositioning maneuver" at the physical therapy office, the symptoms were relieved quickly.
The symptom of "dizziness" is the third most common reason individuals over the age of 65 seek medical attention and the No. 1 reason those over 70 seek help.
Many of these individuals can benefit from vestibular rehabilitation techniques.
BPPV is not age or gender specific, but 50 percent of individuals over 65 will develop it.
Scott Nossek, P.T., owner of Payson Physical Therapy, recently completed an advanced training course in vestibular rehabilitation for the treatment of BPPV and other disorders affecting balance.
"There are many causes for dizziness and loss of balance," Nossek said. "The good news is that many of the symptoms can be alleviated or greatly reduced. The balance system is very plastic, and I am constantly amazed at the body's ability to adapt at any age."
Nossek stressed the importance of consulting with a physician as soon as symptoms appear, to help differentiate between the many causes of dizziness and loss of balance.
"We work closely with the doctor in designing a program specifically for an individual condition," he said.
"The treatment for BPPV is one of two maneuvers that can be performed in one session, with some post-maneuver instructions for the next few days.
"Some conditions require more training of the vestibular and balance systems, usually requiring four to six weeks," Nossek added.
Those who have been experiencing dizziness, vertigo or loss of balance should see their physician immediately, Nossek said. Or they can call Payson Physical Therapy at 474-0429 for a consultation and referral recommendations.