Vertigo Causes & Symptoms

Vertigo is described as a sensation of spinning dizziness and is usually caused by problems in the brain or inner ear, including sudden head movements. A person with vertigo will have a sense that their head, or the surrounding environment, is moving or spinning. When a person feels as if they themselves are moving, it is called subjective vertigo. The perception that their surroundings are moving is called objective vertigo.

Some common causes of vertigo are as follows:


BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, occurs when tiny calcium particles build up in canals of the inner ear. The inner ear then signals the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity. BPPV normally affects older adults and the cause is usually unknown. It has been linked to dementia and is twice as common in women as in men.

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It can cause episodes of vertigo as well as ringing in the ears and hearing loss. The cause of Meniere’s disease is not fully understood but is thought to be due to viral infections of the inner ear, head injury, hereditary factors, or allergies.

Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis

An inner ear problem usually related to infection, this infection causes inflammation in the inner ear around important nerves that help the body sense balance. Viruses that may cause labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis include herpes viruses, influenza, measles, rubella, mumps, polio, hepatitis, and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Vertigo can be a symptom of other conditions, but it can also have its own set of symptoms, which include:

  • Balance problems and lightheadedness
  • A sense of motion sickness
  • Tinnitus
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Physical Therapy helps Vertigo caused by BPPV by identifying the specific part of your inner ear that is affected and performing certain positioning maneuvers. These maneuvers are very successful at resolving symptoms. Physical Therapy also focuses on resolving any balance problems or other issues that may have developed.

Peak Physical Therapy

At Peak Physical Therapy & Sports Performance, our four convenient locations give you greater access to the South Shore's best physical therapy services. The locations include Norwell, MA, Scituate, MA, Quincy, MA, and Hanover, MA. Our state-of-the-art facilities include access to the best treatments and equipment to ensure a fast recovery. We've even expanded our facilities to include access to therapy pools as well as indoor sports fields. If you're unsure whether physical therapy can help you, we offer a no-obligation FREE injury screening. Click here for more information.

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Norwell, MA
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Hanover, MA
Braintree, MA
Pembroke, MA


Hanover, MA
  • Healthtrax Health Club
  • 20 East St.
  • Hanover, MA 02339
  • Phone/Text: 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
  • Scituate Health and Racquet Club
  • 1004 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy
  • Scituate, MA 02066
  • Phone/Text: 781-378-2352
Weymouth, MA
  • Weymouth Club
  • 75 Finnell Drive
  • Weymouth, MA 02188
  • Phone/Text: 781-986-0990


Norwell, MA
  • Women's Health
  • 99 Longwater Circle
  • Suite 203
  • Norwell, MA 02061
  • Phone/Text 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Braintree, MA