Vestibular Disorders | Vertigo

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Vestibular Disorders | Vertigo

Have you ever had vertigo or have heard of someone who has? Chances are that’s a yes as it’s estimated that approximately 40% of the U.S. population will experience some form of this in their lifetime. If you are unsure of what vertigo is and how to treat it, look no further - we’ll have all the answers right here for you. Our very own Kirsten Radke, a Doctor of Physical Therapy & Clinically Certified Vestibular Therapist (CCVT), is here to answer all of your questions. 

What is Vertigo? 

“Vertigo refers to a sense of spinning and dizziness. It is technically a symptom of a range of conditions and it can occur when there is a problem with the inner ear, brain or sensory nerve pathway,” according to Medical News Today. Balance is the key factor in vertigo and other vestibular disorders. As Kirsten explains, “Balance is determined by three factors: What we see, what we feel and our inner ear. If one of those three parts is not functioning or is giving us incorrect information, then we have a mismatch and our body will try to compensate for that. A vestibular evaluation helps to identify which of these three factors needs therapeutic intervention.” 

Can Vertigo be treated?

Every vestibular patient and case of vertigo is different, so to put an exact and identical treatment on this would be impossible. With that being said, there are many different ways to treat vertigo. At Core Physical Therapy, our goal is to not only treat impairments, but also to educate patients on their diagnosis. This is a large part of our specialty. 

In addition to Kirsten’s education, she also has extensive training in craniosacral therapy through Michigan State University. She uses a combination of these skills to work with patients and their providers in order to create a plan of care tailored to each patient. Core is also one of the few clinics in the metro with access to video imaging treatment. This allows them to give the highest quality of care to each patient.

What is a Vestibular Disorder?

There are many different conditions that fall under the vestibular category. At Core Physical Therapy, we see a variety of vestibular patients including: cranial/head trauma, migraines, balance impairments, headaches, post-concussive, whiplash, vestibular hypofunction, central vertigo, BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), vestibular labyrinthitis/neuritis, age-related dizziness, cervicogenic dizziness… and so much more. 

Patient Testimony: Why is My Head Spinning & How Do I Stop It

In May of 2019, I woke up abruptly one morning to the worst spinning sensation I have ever experienced. Think of the most powerful "drunk spins," spinning as a kid, or if you are former military, an aircraft training experience... then multiply it by a factor of 10. It was triggered whenever my head was in a certain position or angle - think of holding a cellphone with your shoulder. It was so awful I would not wish it on anyone. I was helpless and scared.

I did a Google search and quickly discovered that the symptoms for vertigo matched closely with what I experienced. But that did not get me any closer to determining the cause, or better yet, getting rid of it.

Luckily, Dr. Kirsten Radke and I are both Urbandale Chamber members and a mutual acquaintance mentioned that Core Physical Therapy could help. I called and Kirsten got me on her calendar - thank goodness. Within a few moments, she had me diagnosed with BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), which is a long way of saying the crystals in my inner ear were out of place. This was confirmed by the use of some video goggles that showed exactly what the problem was. Dr. Radke then prescribed some head maneuvers to get the crystals back where they are supposed to be by using gravity. Just two appointments (covered by insurance) and I am spin free. I could not be more grateful, or recommend Dr. Radke and Core Physical Therapy more strongly.


Core Physical Therapy specializes in vestibular therapy treatment so if you or someone you know is suffering from a vestibular disorder, contact us today. We’re here to help you get back to feeling like yourself again.

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