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What is it? Benign Paroxsymal Positional Vertigo. It is non life threatening disorder which can come on suddenly and quickly by positional changes and can leave you with a feeling of spinning.

It is a common disorder of the vestibular system in which the calcium carbonate crystals in your ear get misplaced and fall into one or more of the semicircular canals where they shouldn’t be.

Sometimes, BPPV can and will resolve on its own. However, due to the mechanical nature of the problem, sometimes a repositioning maneuver can resolve it more quickly. This is known as an Epley Maneuver. Although this maneuver is very effective, in some cases, BPPV can return and may require additional treatments.

After having a healthcare professional perform the maneuver, individuals can be taught to go through the maneuver on their own or with the help of a friend or family member. This self-Eply Maneuver can be an effective way of reducing symptoms and returning to normal function.

If you have any questions about BPPV, or currently suffer from or have been diagnosed by your physician, we at Arroyo Physical Therapy can assist you in treatment and education to manage this disorder effectively.

Balance Screening and Testing

Did you know that nearly 1/2 of all accidental deaths among the elderly are a result of a fall? Among the most common complaints to doctors and physicians is patients reporting falls, dizziness and imbalance, yet most physicians and patients are unaware that these conditions can be treated by Physical Therapy very effectively.

What causes Dizziness, Imbalance and Falls? Some causes may be: middle ear infections, allergies, toxic exposure to medications or chemicals, stroke, head injuries, poor physical condition, diabetes, neuropathy, and other metabolic disorders. Of course, there may be other causes as well. Due to a variety of causes, proper testing and physical evaluation is necessary to ensure proper treatment and therapy.

Testing can include Vestibular Autorotation Test (VAT), Bengin Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Ocular Motor Exam and General Physical Screening. Of course your physician may order other tests as well.

Here at Arroyo Physical Therapy we offer these tests. The tests are safe, non-invasive and comfortable. Our therapy programs are successful are designed to help restore functional mobility and balance.

“No More Bullying”

Arroyo Physical Therapy is proud to be a part of the Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance (UGLA), Sponsors of the Northeast Los Angeles Pride day at the Eagle Rock Plaza, 2700 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041, this Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 from 1 – 5 PM.

LGBTQ Youth and Seniors are facing epidemic bullying, embarrassment, humiliation, intimidation, physical, verbal and emotional abuse which can happen in schools, online, community centers, medical and nursing facilities and even in an individuals home.

We are proud to be a part of this community outreach to help educate those in and around our community and also to treat those who may have physical therapy needs. We are also proud to be able to refer LGBTQ individuals to other services and resources should the need arise.

Parkinson’s Symposium

Save the Date! Wednesday, September 21, 2011, Arroyo Physical Therapy will be part of the Pasadena Parkinson’s Disease Screening Event and Symposium. Hosted at the Pasadena Senior Center by Southern California Movement Disorder Society.

Did you know: there is a new case of Parkinson’s diagnosis every nine minutes.* (*Alliance for Aging Research)

We are proud to part of this symposium and will be offering basic balance and fall screenings, and information about our LVST®BIG rehab program specifically designed for those with Parkinson’s Disease.

Be sure to call our office should you have more questions, and by all means, if you know of anyone with Parkinson’s or has balance issues, please refer them.

What is Vestibular Hypofunction

Hypofunction refers to any weakness in the vestibular system. The vestibular system is a balance system and works in combination with other balance inputs from your feet and eyes. The vestibular system also contains a reflex from your ear to your eye called your vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR). The role of this reflex is to keep your vision stable when you move your head. Vestibular hypofunction is most often unilateral, referring to only one ear being affected, but can be bilateral which is much more debilitating.

Symptoms are characterized by dizziness, vertigo, instability and balance problems. History of recent viral infection, upper respiratory infection or ear infection is very common. It may also be the result of head trauma, temporal bone fracture, acoustic neuroma, antibiotic use (gentimiacin) or unknown etiologies.

In the beginning, you may experience constant symptoms and require a few days of bed rest. But over time, symptoms may only be aggravated by head movement, visually stimulating environments/activities, etc. This is because of impaired gaze stabilization (VOR). Walking in the dark and on uneven surfaces may also be difficult and unsafe. This is because you are unable to relay on your vestibular system for balance when other systems are compromised (vision and feet). It is important to take caution in these situations. Always turn on lights, avoid over stimulating tasks and surfaces you cannot safely negotiate.

Treatment for Vestibular Hypofunction…

Inner ear health is dependent on movement. Just like you would use a dumbbell to strengthen your bicep muscle, you use head and eye movement to strengthen your vestibular system.

Of course, in the beginning of treatment you may be very motion sensitive. It is important to do prescribed exercises as tolerated and slowly increase the time, speed and amount of exercise. More is not necessarily better!

Exercise goals are to promote inner ear adaptation and to challenge the balance component of the vestibular system.

Exercise and its progressions will be tailored to your individual symptoms and needs.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a life changing disease. It is a progressive degenerative disorder that impairs the central nervous system which in turn effects motor skills and cognitive ability as well as other bodily functions.

Here at Arroyo Physical Therapy, as movement specialists, we offer large amplitude movement therapy, based on the principles of LSVT®BIG, the leaders in rehabilitation for those with Parkinson’s. Kathleen McGuire, DPT, is certified in the LSVT®BIG rehabilitation program and is passionate about helping those with Parkinson’s start moving more effectively and improve functional mobility.

We offer individualized sessions and will be incorporating group classes soon!