If you have ever felt like the world is spinning around you, it may just be because you are suffering from vertigo. Similarly to Hitchcock’s movie, vertigos manifests itself more like a symptom than a diseases. It is that feeling when you or the environment surrounding you appears to be uncontrollably spinning and losing balance. Depending on the level of severity, it may be barely perceptible, or on the contrary it can affect daily life and have an enormous effect on one’s abilities to perform simple tasks, such as walking or driving.
In Canada, an increasing number of the population, especially the aging one, are suffering from this rather debilitating symptom. Statistics show that over 1.5 million Canadians suffer from vertigo, as a result of contracting viruses or suffering sports injuries and taking certain medications. The distressful factor here being that vertigo is almost impossible to cure.
Putting this in the global context, it becomes a massive burden on societies and health care systems. Recent numbers predict that over the next decade, the number of people aged over 60 years old will surpass 1 billion worldwide. In Canada alone, it is expected that one in four people will be 65 years old or over, by 2051. Out of this population, a significant number will be experiencing vertigo.
Preventing and promoting wellness
Luckily, the science community has joined its forces to tackle this issue. Physiotherapy professionals are becoming more and more involved. While there is still more to be done, physiotherapists are getting behind services that have a robust program that not only aims to fix the problem, but also prevent it from happening and playing an important role in self-managing it.
Currently, the physiotherapy industry in Canada is valued at around $3bn and it has seen a growth of 2.9% in the past 5 years. While it is widely known to have positive effects in pain-related conditions, and rehabilitation, physiotherapy can be of crucial importance in the treatment and management of vertigo. An Asian study involving 12 trials and 758 patients aged between 18 and 70 years old has demonstrated that physiotherapy has been more effective in alleviating vertigo than the sham treatment, or the Epley treatment – the standard technique used for dizziness. Importantly to note here is that the standard care for vertigo involves repositioning maneuvers, which cannot be tolerated by people suffering from cervical spine problems. This limits treatment options and it forces them to either having to bear through the symptom, or seek alternatives that might be dangerous or unsuitable for them.
This is why, promoting the benefits of physiotherapy is something professionals all over the world should be focused on. Because it promotes overall health and enables the body’s inner power to heal itself, physiotherapy is a powerful weapon in preventing these symptoms from appearing in the first place. By doing so, it can considerably lift some of the burden as it is always easier to prevent, than treat.