Root Cause Evaluation is the Missing Component
Many people come to me and say that they have been diagnosed with vertigo. Vertigo is a symptom of something else or a cluster of other things that are going on, but vertigo is not in itself the root of the problem.
It is kind of like going to the doctor and saying “I have back pain.” In response, the doctor says “I am going to diagnose you with back pain.”
You think, “Thanks that’s great but that’s what I told you. What am I supposed to do now?”
The diagnosis of vertigo is really describing a symptom, not a root cause! In general, it is important to keep digging until you find the underlying problem by seeking a Root Cause Evaluation.
Medication might be okay for short-term management and some people might need medication for long-term management, if they are not good candidates for Vestibular Rehabilitation physical therapy.
People with vertigo can be made more comfortable by taking medications as prescribed to reduce their symptoms of vertigo, but overall coming to a conclusion to the root cause of the problem and then trying to resolve the problem, is a better long term route for improving quality of life.
Root Cause Determines the Treatment
When potential new patients ask me what I will recommend for them for treatments, I say it all depends on the root cause(s) we are able to discover during the Initial Root Cause Evaluation and Treatment session.
Giving general exercises without performing a proper root cause might help somewhat, but it will not yield as good of an outcome because it is non-specific.
Auto-Immune Disease: An Example of the Importance of Root Cause
For example, I myself have been recently diagnosed with a thyroid problem and my doctor was going to put me on thyroid medicine, the synthetic thyroid hormones.
I thought “Well, I don’t want to be on this for the rest of my life,” so I went to a physical therapist who is also a nutritionist and a biofeedback specialist.
She said “Why don’t we do a root cause evaluation to figure out why your thyroid is not working – why did it shut down?”
She gave me a root cause evaluation and it turned out I have some food allergies, like gluten sensitivity, dairy sensitivity and sensitivities to other foods as well. Because I was having food allergies and continual digestive problems, that was apparently causing my immune system to react to the foods I was eating. Then my immune system was getting overexcited and it started attacking my own healthy cells, such as my thyroid. This is an example of an auto-immune disease that was causing the thyroid problem, and it would have been totally missed if I had just taken the thyroid medication and stopped pursuing the root cause.
We were able to figure out that if I could fix my digestion, then I could calm down my immune system and eventually alleviate my thyroid problem – then I don’t have to stay on thyroid medicine for the rest of my life.
That’s an example in my own life of digging for the underlying problems by doing a root cause evaluation instead of just making my destiny be about staying on this medication for the rest of my life without a proper root cause evaluation.
In your own life, you can advocate for yourself to assess for the root cause.
Let’s go for the root cause!
If you would like to have a Root Cause Evaluation for your dizziness, vertigo, imbalance or falls, please request a consultation.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.
I just finished watching on YouTube your information on Dizziness and Vertigo (published 3 years ago with Dr. Newton, Stephen Moxey, and Diane Kusunose). It ease excellent.
I have a few questions, if you don’t mind answering:
1). I Live in West Virginia. Are there any practitioners on this side of the country that do what you do?
2). I just started at 63 years old practicing yoga. Would it be best that I did not do inversion-type movements since I have developed a bout of vertigo?
3). I was also just diagnosed with a a thyroid problem and was placed on Nature-Throid, which I’d prefer not to take. Is there a physical therapist who is also a nutritionist and a biofeedback specialist. on this side of the country that you know of that tI may visit?
Thanks for taking time to respond.
Mrs. Pat Poole
I am so happy your found my video on YouTube! I have published a few more recently and have some more coming up soon so please check back or subscribe to my channel.
Regarding your three questions:
This blog may help you find a provider in your area.
This blog speaks to the risks of doing inversions in yoga while you have vertigo.
I do not know of anyone like Diane – she is a pioneer – but you could certainly contact her directly and ask if she would be able to refer you to someone in your area.
I wish you all the best!
I fell after a biopsy, blacked out and hit my head receving six staples to close the wound in the back of my head. The dizziness is very active when I lay down and get up or tilt my head back. It has been two weeks.from the fall and release from the ER.
The dizziness and a consistent pain in both upper and lower arms is the result of the fall. The pain is better but the dizziness is still very active
Yikes! That is terrible.
Dizziness as you described can be from a concussion – did you get a concussion? If so, you may need to see a neurologist.
Dizziness when you lie down, get up or look up can be due to BPPV.
BPPV can certainly be caused by hitting your head.
Here is an article on dizziness lying down.
This article is on dizziness looking up.
This article can help you find a provider who treats BPPV.
These new complaints can also be related to your neck and neck issues are common after such a fall.
So far, I have three articles on neck related dizziness:
I wrote two more articles on neck related dizziness that I will publish this month on this website and on my other site VertigoDetective.com. You can check back for more information if you want to learn more about upper cervical dizziness.
If you want to find a PT to treat your neck, you can search this directory.
I hope you feel better soon!