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Functional training

Hi all,

a couple of days ago I watched a pretty decent German TV feature about vertigo. They had patients with positioning vertigo, morbus meuniere and MAV. From that I’m even more convinced that MAV is what I have.

Well, besides high dosage magnesium they recommended functional training, for example spinng around yourself in an office chair with arms stretched out up front and watching your raised thumbs. Or juggling a ball over your head from left to right and back watching the ball or balancing on one foot, etc.

They said it would help the brain to learn to compensate. Does anybody have experience with that?

Thanks
Frank

Hi Frank

I dont have the experience with the type of exercise you’ve mentioned above however I would say that personally for me any vestibular exercises can exacerbate my dizziness - even today for instance I was driving around a particularly winding road which nearly set me off.

I have heard people talk about their own experiences with VRT and have myself done some in the past but nothing has really helped me but Amitriptyline and Botox…

Generally speaking, everyday life is excellent VRT in my opinion. I wouldn’t reccommend doing anything like that when your thresholds are low however… could start a war that you can’t win.

May I ask if you’re under a Neurologist? Perhaps it would be wise if you haven’t already to see a professional for a solid diagnosis?

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Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes, I was diagnosed by a neurologist who is a vertigo specialist. He prescribed me flunarizine, but I had terrible side effects with that. As my case is not that terrible compared to others, we agreed to go without medication. Travel sickness gum and magnesium helps me best.

It’s been 11 years now and I got used to it eventually. Biggest problem remaining for me is car driving beyond 40mph.

I agree that it is pointless to do anything that will set me off, but gradually doing some exercises might be helpful, who knows

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Hi Frank

Its great that you’re in a stable ish phase that you dont feel the need to be medicated! In that case maybe do give it a try? I mean as long as your not feeling worse afterwards? Where’s the harm.

I take Cinnarizine occasionally when I’m particularly bad and it does take away the motion intolerance but not the dizzies.

I’m funny in cars too! Especially heavy breaking (if someone else is driving) causes head pressure often.

Do you work out at all? I know people reccommend exercise albeit light and nothing too strenuous. Give the VRT a go I guess :+1:t3:

Yep, or you could try balancing on a gym ball looking left n right, or maybe a bit of bouncing on a trampoline, Any of those would knock my balance out completely and put me flat on my back in bed for a week anytime if that’s the aim. Escalators, lifts, vibrating floors, dodgem cars at fairgrounds all worth avoiding with unstable MAV if you ask me.

Certainly be pointless for me. All these actions affect dynamic balance. Not everybody is the same. There do appear to be different versions of MAV. We each need to understand our own. I’d like to see some of these theorists cope with MAV practicalities though. I really would. There are exercises and there are exercises. Helen

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Vestibular therapy helped me very much, but I wouldn’t try it without the help of a highly qualified therapist.

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@sfnative: I agree that this shouldn’t be a DOI thing. Could you tell me maybe a little bit more about what you did? That would be great!!!

Otherwise, I guess we all have slightly different symptoms. What I’m suffering most from are:

  • big crowds: just too much visual and auditive stimulation
  • walking down long, narrow aisles, e.g. in a super market
  • car driving beyond a certain speed. The road (including lines painted, trees on the side, etc.) rushing by left and right send me spinning.

My N. suggested that my left and right vestibular system might be not equally good (or bad for that matter) so with this road(or similiar) rushing by left and right might be “processed” asymmetrically causing confusion.

Best advice. Exercises need to be tailored to individuals specific needs. Doing ‘someone’ else’s might well prove far more damaging than taking someone else’s prescribed medicines.

Your symptoms sound like Visual Vertigo to me. Typical common symptoms which occur when MAV has the upper hand and is unstable. VRT is not generally recommended for unstable MAV. In fact few specialist recommend it for MAV period. It tends to be in much more general use in the US where VRT expertise first originated and still seems way ahead of Europe.

From what I’ve read (I’m not medical just another MAV ‘victim’) the brain would soon compensate for constant stable asymmetry to remove the confusion. Trouble is with MAV it’s unstable and constantly changes so there’s no stable baseline to which to return. Hence the use of preventatives. Helen

I have similar problems as you, Frank. Supermarkets and shopping malls are particularly difficult, the more crowded, brightly lit and noisy, the worse I feel. I can actually feel my brain slowing down – my movements, my speech, my thinking, all slow down in loud, visually busy spaces. Frustrating. That said, my symptoms are much less intense now and I believe vestibular therapy was partially responsible for the improvement.

I worked with a very skilled therapist in my neurotologist’s practice. We worked on-site and I did exercises at home twice a day. I can’t tell you specific exercises but the two objectives were to minimize my extreme sensitivity to movement and to improve my balance. It was slow-going but I saw gradual improvement. Of course, I was taking meds at the same time so it’s not possible to separate meds v.s. therapy. A couple of years ago I also started vision therapy. It seemed to help but the improvement wasn’t as significant as what I experienced with vestibular therapy.

Therapy might not work for everyone but it helped me. You might want to look into it. This miserable condition is a true trial-and-error situation. We’re all rooting for you.

Thanks a lot!

It all started when I had to take a high-dosage antibiotic for a week. A few days after I experienced my first vertigo attack in a mall. It was plain horror. 6 months later I also had an anxiety disorder. The vertigo caused big anxiety and then the anxiety made the vertigo worse. Have seen a million doctors, but without any avail. I guess we all have similiar storires. At one point I was panicking just entering my car. But eventually I forced myself to slowly drive in residential neighborhoods doing 15-20mph. And ever so slowly I at least got back to being able driving in town, but I can’t get to the freeway. I did the same with other behavior, some sort of exposition therapy. But at the end it was only the long time that taught me like “I didin’t die all those days before, why would I today” and that relaxed me and I eventually got used to the vertigo so on many days I don’t even notice it anymore.

I guess I will check with the local university hospital if they can offer some sort of therapy.

Thanks a lot!
Frank

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OMG no, that would cause me to relapse for 2 weeks!

Only two? I got pretty much double that with a couple of minutes on a gym ball. In all seriousness I must admit such symptoms that have lingered on jar with me now. That vibrating floor in a mobile trailer medical testing clinic got me last week and crunching across a patch of vegetation, weeds on a bit of a mound out walking took my balance by surprise a while back. Since the more recent floor fiasco I’ve been digging and I think it’s some intermittent type of vestibular ataxia and I’m currently on the trail of a specialist physio who I’ve been told has some answers to that sort of dynamic balance - for I think that’s what it is - issue. I’ll report back either way. Helen

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That’s exactly how I think now :smile:

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