Georgiy Sekretaryuk
May 18, 2016
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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is a peripheral vestibular condition which causes mild to intense dizziness influenced by specific changes in head position. It is most prevalent in population between ages of 50-70 although it can occur at any time of the lifespan. In young population or among individuals below the age of 50 years BPPV most commonly occurs following head trauma. There is a substantial incidence of BPPV among individuals suffering from whiplash injuries of neck following motor vehicle accident.

It is estimated that at least 9% of the elderly population receiving treatment for balance related issues have undiagnosed BPPV. These individuals have high incidence of falls and impairments in daily living.

Signs and symptoms of BPPV

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo (sensation of spinning or moving of surrounding)
  • Light headedness
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurring of vision and nystagmus which is associated with vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These signs and symptoms are transient lasting for less than one minute. They are usually brought on by changing head positions such as

  • Moving head to one side, for example, while turning in bed
  • While tilting head backward, for example, while removing things from the top shelf
  • Bending head down, for example, while picking up objects from floor or tying shoe lace

What is the role of physiotherapist in the treatment of BPPV?

A physiotherapist can alleviate the problems due to BPPV through vestibular rehabilitation. Vestibular rehabilitation is exercise based therapy which aims in reducing symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness and gaze instability and balance problems.

People with vestibular disorder often adopt sedentary lifestyle to avoid falls or activities that worsens their symptoms. This results in secondary problems such as decrease muscle strength, joint stiffness and decrease stamina. These problems can be very well dealt with various kinds of stretching and strengthening exercises.

Our Related Posts on Vestibular Rehabilitation & Guided Exercises

Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist at Burnaby PhysioCare

This blog is written by Nikhita Jain, physiotherapist at Absolute PhysioCare and Sports Rehabilitation in Burnaby BC who is  trained  in Vestibular Rehabilitation.

If you are experiencing symptoms of BPPV please contact us at 604-558-CARE (2273), or touch with us online, and book with our physiotherapist trained in Vestibular Rehabilitation.

  1. Physiopedia. Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo: Continuing Professional Development Package [Internet] c2016 [Updated Jan 2013 Cited 27 Apr 2016] Available from Continuing_Professional_Development_Package
  2. Vestibular Disorder Association. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy [Internet] c2016 [Updated Mar 2015; Cited 27 Apr 2016] Available from


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