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Dizziness is a word that is often used to describe two different feelings. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel dizzy," because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the list of possible problems.

Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or "pass out." Although you may feel dizzy, you do not Vertigo Whirlfeel as though you or your surroundings are moving. Lightheadedness often goes away or improves when you lie down. If lightheadedness gets worse, it can lead to a feeling of almost fainting or a fainting spell (syncope). You may sometimes feel nauseated or vomit when you are lightheaded.

Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are off balance, spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. When you have severe vertigo, you may feel very nauseated or vomit. You may have trouble walking or standing, and you may lose your balance and fall.

Although dizziness can occur in people of any age, it is more common among older adults. A fear of dizziness can cause older adults to limit their physical and social activities. Dizziness can also lead to falls and other injuries.

When to seek an evaluation
It is common to feel lightheaded from time to time. Brief episodes of lightheadedness are not usually the result of a serious problem. Lightheadedness often is caused by a momentary drop in blood pressure and blood flow to your head that occurs when you get up too quickly from a seated or lying position (orthostatic hypotension). Ongoing lightheadedness may mean you have a more serious problem that needs to be evaluated.


Feeling Dizzy? A message from the Vestibular Disorders Association (Click here for PDF)

Around the early to mid 1960’s as the demands for new testing ideas were endless in this country the first ENG was created (electronystagmography), the idea was to apply a small electric current across various areas of the human brain to better understand not only the functioning of the human brain but to also better understand HOW the brain did its countless activities and how the various components of the brain actually communicated. In a very simple explanation it was like brain mapping. The use of ENG is actually still very prevalent in today’s health care treatment tool box.

The human brain is not only one of life’s most complex structures but it is also one of life’s greatest mysteries. IE: today concussion crisis! The study of this most unique and complex organ has taken years and countless hours of research and study, and in reality we still do not really totally understand how it does what it does.

Fast forward to today: YES we now understand much better how the body maintains and monitors its balance and vestibular activities. Our vestibular (ie: balance) system is primarily comprised of three bodily areas.

  1. Our vision
  2. Our hearing
  3. Our central nervous system

Our vision is not only what we see, but also how we see it. While we might be enjoying a beautiful sunset and just caught in the beauty and majesty of it all, in reality what our eyes are giving to the brain is monumentally more significant. It is creating a construct of height, width, and depth, this three-dimensional imagery allows us to easily go up and down stairs for example, or reaching for a glass of water. Now imagine you lose this gift or it is compromised in some way, this would complicate these simple tasks, correct?

Dual tasking? Am I talking about a medieval sword fight? No that is “duel”. A dual task involves performing two things at once, from a clinical standpoint it means to engage or challenge a motor function (e.g. walking) at the same time as you perform a cognitive challenge (e.g. counting backwards by 7’s from 100). One would think that walking is automatic and that thinking would not impact it at all. Walking does take up some of your brain power and if the mental task is too heavy a load for your brain because of a concussion or other brain health reasons, than you might see changes like slowing down, going off course or angulation changes in limbs.

Have you ever walked beside someone who seemed to constantly bump into you while walking and talking, or they slow down every time they spoke? Well those are examples of failure of function while dual tasking. As research suggests dual tasking helps“isolate specific mental processes” and should be part of any concussion evaluation and baseline screening. These strategies have been used for years for both brain baseline assessments and brain rehabilitation and if concussion evaluation did not include this component then a potentially important “window” into your brain function was missed.

Now, let’s take it a step further to try and understand why we at ProRehab do some of the crazy brain training things we do. We are constantly asking ourselves, “If I can help someone return to “normal” by employing dual tasking exercises can I help an athlete go from their “normal” to an improved level of function that entails faster thinking and better performance on the field?” The answer is YES WE CAN. These are strategies that have been employed in military training and with professional players; it is not a completely novel idea. Now the tasks employed should ideally be relevant to you, that is, address your weaker areas of brain. Function is not from symptoms to no symptoms but rather a continuum that continues on past no signs or symptoms toward optimization of function. Simultaneously challenging brain and body builds a stronger, faster brain that may very well be more resilient to injury.

It has been said you can repair an injured knee but the brain must HEAL!



Better Balance of North Dakota

Admin contact:
Skip Frappier
Ph: 701-238-3170

For appointments call:
Pro Rehab, Physical Therapy Clinic
1711 Gold Drive, #120, Fargo, ND 58103

Call for appointment: 701-451-9417

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