Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Have you ever had episodes of vertigo (spinning sensation), loss of balance, nausea and vomiting that is strongly associated with head movements?

You may have had Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

What is it?

BPPV is a mechanical problem of the inner ear. Little crystals (otoconia) become dislodged and migrate into a section of the inner ear called the semicircular canals where they are not supposed to be.

These interfere with the function of these canals, which causes the inner ear to send false signals to the brain regarding head movement.

These signals do not match the ones coming from the opposite ear, the eyes or the muscles and joints which is then perceived by the brain as vertigo.

BPPV is common condition. Most cases occur for no apparent reason with many reporting that they just woke up with it. However, some associations have been made with trauma, migraines, inner ear infections, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

– Reproduce episodes of vertigo on movement or change in position.
– Potentially cause nausea & vomiting
– A feeling of imbalance is also normal between episodes.

– Affect hearing
– Produce fainting
– Produce headaches
– Create neurological symptoms such as numbness, pins and needles, difficulty speaking or trouble coordinating movements

Medical imaging is not effective in diagnosing BPPV. Instead, tests involving movement of the head cause the eyes to move in very distinct patterns which give clues to which ear is affected and which canals they’re trapped in.

BPPV is treated by a specific series of movements to guide the crystals back to the chamber where they are supposed to be.
Studies have shown that over 90% of cases reach complete resolution within 1-3 sessions.

This is great as most patients are pleased that their problem can be so easily corrected!

There are however many conditions that can cause dizziness and vertigo, so come see the team at Bassendean Physio to see how we can help you.


Jonathan Thai
Physiotherapist, Living Fit Instructor

Jonathan graduated with a Physiotherapy degree from Curtin University, and has worked in a variety of settings ranging from residential care, hospital and private practice. 

Jonathan has a passion for delivering individually tailored physiotherapy to all his clients, and blends manual therapy with exercise therapy to help clients achieve their functional goals.

He can usually be found struggling to balance exercise with indulging on good food. Recently however, most of his spare time is spent lounging around with his cat whilst looking after his new baby boy.

Therapy Interests

  • Shoulder pain

  • Knee pain

  • Post-operative conditions

  • Resistance and plyometric training