AOPT Health Blog
What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo. This is usually triggered by specific changes in the position of the head which leads to dizziness among other symptoms.


Most often the cause of this condition is unknown or idiopathic. Sometimes it is caused by a blow to the head or damage to the inner ear. The inner ear contains organs and sensors which detect motion. When these structures become disrupted, they cause dizziness among other symptoms. BPPV is more common in individuals over 50 and is more often seen in women than men.


Common symptoms of vertigo include:

  • Mild to intense dizziness
  • A sense that the space around you is spinning
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Signs and Symptoms

Some signs that your child may need help with their visual perceptual skills include:

  • Frustration with precise eye and hand tasks
  • Difficulty completing puzzles, mazes, or dot-to-dot games
  • Dressing – difficulty differentiating right from left shoes, or remembering the sequence of dressing
  • Difficulty recognizing sight words
  • Avoiding activities that challenge visual perceptual skills
  • Avoiding certain tasks and having others perform the task for them under their direction (e.g. “Daddy, draw me a house.”)

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

When BPPV is caused by changes in the structures of the inner ear it may be resolved by a series of maneuvers to reposition those structures. One maneuver a physical therapist can use to help with this condition is called the Epley maneuver. It is usually effective after one or two treatments at which time, a Home Epley Maneuver can be taught to patients to use on themselves. If you have questions about this condition and would like to discuss treatment with a physical therapist, give our office a call to schedule a free screen today!


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Retrieved from

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