Panicky feelings of nausea and dizziness “like being on a rollercoaster” can result from a common condition of the inner ear.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) causes sufferers to experience intense bursts of dizziness when they move their head in certain directions.

This very unpleasant condition is caused when solid chalky particles dislodge themselves from their normal resting place in the inner ear and float off into one of the nearby semi-circular canals where they can create havoc as they upset the balance system.

When sitting or standing upright, there may be few or no symptoms. Many people who develop BPPV work out which head movements trigger their symptoms and instinctively avoid doing them. This can lead to stiffness and pain in the neck and upper shoulder muscles.

There is a simple treatment for BPPV, called the Epley Manoeuvre. A qualified practitioner moves the sufferer’s head in particular directions, using gravity to reposition the troublesome particles back to where they should be.

Jane Bos, who carries out these treatments at Bury Physio Clinic, has had specialist training in dizziness and balance problems relating to the
inner ear.

Patients need to have discussed their dizziness with their GP first, to rule out any other health-related causes. They will then be assessed by Jane and given appropriate treatment.
Most patients report a marked reduction in their dizziness when treatment is complete. Follow-up treatments may be necessary if patients continue to have stiffness in the neck and shoulders or if the dizziness does not fully resolve.