Vertigo may be described as the illusory sense that the environment around the patient is moving or spinning or that the patient is actually moving or spinning. This type of dizziness comes from the vestibular system and must be distinguished from dizziness or pseudo-benign paroxysmal positional vertigo with a differing aetiology.
It is classified either as peripheral vertigo, when changes occur to the outer organs of the vestibular system (utricle, saccule, semi-circular canals and the vestibulocochlear nerve or as central vertigo when the change is located in the vestibular nuclei, cerebellum, the perihypoglossal nuclei and its various connected pathways in the central nervous system (CNS). In 85% of cases, the cause is peripheral, and the other 15% are central.
Dizziness is a vaguer term described as a subjective feeling of instability without any actual loss of balance. Patients report a feeling of instability, swaying or weakness, sometimes accompanied by nausea. While the cause is vestibular in nature, the aetiology is very varied. It may be a typical symptom of change in visual apparatus, change in the parietal and temporal lobes, the cerebellum, fatigue, stress, etc., as well as dysfunction or pathology in the neck vertebrae.
Imbalance is actual loss of stability, without any sensation of movement. It is usually the result of change in integration between sensory input and motor reactions. This occurs while standing and walking and is absent while sitting or lying down. Strong imbalance in younger patients usually reveals a central pathology; in older patients it should be considered normal due to age..
At Okto we believe that the combination of high-quality equipment, manual therapy and exercise is the right approach to treatment and prevention of problems related to dizziness and balance.