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Lenora M

  • Author: Lenora M
  • Date Submitted: Feb 24, 2023
  • Category: Spotlights

Vertigo, dizziness, and balance-related conditions are common health conditions. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults experience vertigo at least once in their lifetime, with women slightly more likely to get it than men. The symptoms can make everyday life and activities, such as driving, challenging.

Lenora M of Luzerne knows just how debilitating vertigo can be. But she also knows how valuable and effective physical therapy can be.

“They gave me my life back.”

"I hadn't been myself for over a year - the fall really changed me. I am extremely independent, and I lost all of that. I lost confidence in who I was and what I could do. I was afraid of everything. I wouldn't even go up or down the steps if someone wasn't with me. I would stand there paralyzed in fear unless someone were with me. So this whole process, and the positive atmosphere they created here - really helped make me feel confident again."

Effective treatment for balance and vestibular disorders

Lenora began physical therapy at Allied Services in Wilkes-Barre following a fall. She suffered compression fractures and required spinal bracing and physical therapy to return to regular activity. During this time, Lenora began experiencing severe bouts of vertigo. She was diagnosed with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo — the sudden sensation that you are spinning or that the inside of your head is spinning. BPPV causes brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. It is triggered when you tip your head up or down, lie down, turn over, or sit up in bed.

After a consultation with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist, Lenora was referred to Dr. Kristina Dorkoski, DPT, P.T., CEEAA, NCS at Allied Services Wilkes-Barre Rehab Center for balance and vestibular therapy.

"BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals called otoconia come loose from their normal location on the utricle, a sensory organ in the inner ear. If the crystals become detached, they can flow freely in the inner ear, including the semicircular canals - the area that senses the rotation of the head," notes Dr. Dorkoski.

"The goal of treatment is to move the calcium carbonate particles out of your semicircular canals and back into your utricle. The particles resorb more easily and don't cause uncomfortable symptoms here."

"Lenora was referred to me in October of 2022 for her dizziness. Using our infrared video goggles, I confirmed her BPPV. My fellow physical therapist Cruz Finnicum, PT, DPT, and I both treated her and were able to correct it within a few sessions."

"We successfully accommodated her spinal limitations and ensured we were accurate in our repositioning maneuvers using the goggles. In real-time, the video goggles display eye movements associated with where the calcium carbonate crystals are in the affected semicircular canal of the affected inner ear. In other words, we use them to diagnose the problem, then make sure we are moving them in the right direction during treatment."

"Lenora also had balance problems that put her at risk for another fall. Added to that, she had low balance confidence, which further increases an individual's fall risk. Once her BPPV was cleared, we proceeded to balance retraining."

"Throughout her treatment, Lenora was very motivated to improve her balance and walking, and it paid off. When she was discharged from physical therapy, she no longer scored as 'at risk' for falls on any standardized tests, and her balance confidence had greatly increased."

Learn about Balance and Vestibular Rehab

Vestibular and balance rehab involves exercises that help you manage dizziness and balance issues. This therapy may help people cope with the symptoms of conditions such as vertigo and labyrinthitis. It can also help reduce the risk of falling, improve balance, body strength, and your ability to stabilize your vision. Learn more about specialized balance and vestibular rehab at Allied Services - click here.