My client is 50 years old client and has vestibular vertigo due to a car accident three years ago. She has been to a physio and seen a neurologist and was told that this is an irreversible condition. She is basically housebound by this and has gained weight as she is afraid to walk alone or go out of the house because of the dizziness. Now that she has joined the gym, I would be so grateful if you could give some advice as her trainer for a few sessions.
As always, consult a physician before beginning any exercise program.
Vestibular vertigo is vertigo originating from the vestibular organs in the inner ear. It occurs when there is an imbalance in impulses sent to the brain from the vestibular organs in the inner ear. The result is an often violent form of vertigo, in which patients feel as if the room is spinning around them. This makes them feel sweaty and nauseous. Sufferers may not be able to stand up straight and may have to lie down until the episode is over. Vestibular vertigo is not a disease in itself and may have different causes.
I have consulted with my network of health care professionals and have been given some direction where to start. First, there are drugs that can help the symptoms of vestibular vertigo. Your client will need to consult her physician, but what I have been told is that calcium channel blockers and betahistine dihydrochloride are used to treat vestibular vertigo. I usually shy away from drugs to solve problems, but in this case, it may be a necessary evil.
There are also exercises you can do to help. Here are some links to sites that describe them.
While this answer addresses the area of direct vestibular involvement, there are other possibilities that should be considered. Since this occurred following trauma, the client should be checked for muscular or joint issues in the neck, vertebral artery patency and atlas subluxation, for a start. Any of these, either alone or in combination with a frank vestibular involvement, can cause vertigo. Treatment might involve any of the following: neuromuscular therapy, joint manipulation, NUCCA chiropractic adjustment, corrective exercise and cranial sacral therapy. I strongly suggest consulting with someone who can manage the client and any referrals. A Level III or IV Chek Practitioner should be able to do this.
Your client will probably never be 100 percent, but this info should help her on the way to recovery.