Vestibular migraine is one of the most common causes of episodic vertigo. It is 10 times more common than Ménière’s disease. It tends to affect women more than men (70% of the time) and the average age of onset is 40 years old, but can occur in patients as late as 72 years of age.
What causes it?
The cause is not yet fully understood. There are however reports that a highly sensitised brainstem and labyrinth may contribute to symptoms. Sometimes motion segment dysfunction in the upper Cervical spine can contribute to it’s causes.
What are signs of poor sleep quality?
Not everyone with Vestibular Migraine will have headaches or migraines. The symptoms tend to come in clusters but can be daily and include:
Sensitivity to light
Sensitivity to sound
Loss of balance
Suffering from these symptoms can be quite distressing, so we highly recommend seeing out a specialist opinion before commencing Physiotherapy.
How is it diagnosed?
Besides a good history of the existing medical condition, a series of tests may be conducted to determine the diagnosis. These include:
Vestibular examination-using various eye, ear and positional tests
Examination of the ears
How can it be treated?
Vestibular migraine treatment can respond well to the treatments used for regular migraines. This includes a combination of physiotherapy, medication from GP or neurologist, exercise, and often a lifestyle change.
Physiotherapy treatments include manual therapy on the upper cervical spinal segments and treatment of soft tissue muscle spasm or restrictions. A specific exercise program, including a cardiovascular exercise program, and postural awareness has been shown to be helpful.
A Vestibular Rehabilitation program may be useful for those with motion sensitivity to help desensitize different visual, head or body movements.