Recognition and Management of BPPV for an Elderly Female Patient Referred for Low Back Pain: A Resident's Case Study
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is common among older adults and frequently misdiagnosed or unidentified. Undiagnosed BPPV has been associated with depression, falls and ADL limitations. This case study describes the diagnostic process and management of BPPV for a 65-year-old patient with a primary complaint of chronic low back pain (LBP) in an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy setting. Following routine screening performed on initial evaluation, the patient was educated about examination findings that indicated the potential for BPPV and given the option to proceed with further assessment or defer until LBP was under control. The patient attended 16 visits over the course of care and the complaint of vertigo, described as a true spinning sensation, was assessed further on the visit 5. Continued assessment confirmed BPPV and the canalith repositioning procedure was administered. Following positive response to this intervention, the maneuver was re-administered on visit 6. Complete resolution of symptoms was reported on visit 7 and for the remainder of physical therapy services over the following month. Physical therapists may play a vital role in reducing healthcare expenses associated with cost to arrive at the diagnosis of BPPV, as well as improving the quality of life and safety of the older adult population affected by BPPV.
Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Massey BJ, Osborne R, Beneciuk J. Recognition and management of BPPV for an elderly female patient referred for low back pain: A resident’s case study. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2014 Aug;30(6):444-51