Living Well presentation about vertigo

Marie Milleage

The presentation in July by Doug Soell provided residents with a clear understanding about vertigo, dizziness and other balance problems. Many program attendees agreed that dizziness affected them at one time or another whether at home, during sports activities or at other locations.

Doug shared that 90 million Americans seek care because of vertigo, dizziness or balance problems, the second most common ailments discussed with their doctors. He added that 70% of Americans will experience dizziness in their lifetime.

While the number one complaint of people over the age of 70, related falls account for 50% of accidental deaths in the elderly with 10% of these falls resulting in hospitalization.

Relief for dizziness and vertigo may be realized through various treatments and exercises. After an extensive review of bodily composition and anatomy, Doug explained the effective Epley Maneuver therapy treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a disorder arising from an inner ear problem.

The Epley Maneuver treatment requires the patient to sit on the examination table with the legs extended in front. The therapist manipulates the patient’s head, quickly guides the patient back with the neck extended down, rotates the head in several positions, holding each position for a short period of time, rolls the patient on one side and then the other, maintaining the head at a certain angle, again holding each position for a short period, and slowly brings the patient to a sitting position while maintaining the head at a certain angle. Follow-up exercises may be recommended and given.

This repositioning maneuver allows relocating of free flowing particles back to the “utricle” and relieving the patient of vertigo. Some signs and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, falling and others will be reviewed by the therapist or doctor prior to identifying the disorder as vertigo. In patients with BBPV, calcium crystals become dislodged from their normal position and drift into one of the ear’s canals. The Epley maneuver changes the position of the crystals to hinder continued problems.

Other causes of vertigo include motion sickness, watching moving objects and several diseases. Medications may be prescribed in acute cases, and surgery is considered as a last resort.

Doug Soell is a physical therapist with a MPT and is one of two Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialists in Denton. He is also a Certified Gold Fitness Instructor and has volunteered with the Endeavor games for disabled athletes.

DATCU credit union provided refreshments and door prizes. The seminars are free and open to Robson Ranch residents who register in advance at or

All content within presentations sponsored by Living Well is intended for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse commercial products or services mentioned or advised in any presentation.