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Client case study: Unexplained Dizziness

Patient Name: Sarah L.
Age: 45
Occupation: Marketing Manager

Medical History: No significant prior medical history, occasional headaches.

Sarah presented with complaints of dizziness, spinning sensations, and imbalance that
occurred suddenly while getting out of bed one morning. She reported experiencing
severe vertigo episodes lasting for about a minute each time, accompanied by nausea.
The symptoms were intense enough to affect her daily activities, leading her to take
time off from work due to the inability to focus or move without feeling dizzy.

Upon examination, Sarah was diagnosed with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
(BPPV). BPPV is a condition caused by the displacement of small calcium crystals
(canaliths) within the inner ear, leading to vertigo with changes in head position.

Given the diagnosis, a combination approach was suggested to alleviate Sarah’s vertigo
episodes:

Osteopathy Sessions (Initial Visit and Follow-ups):

  • Initial assessment revealed tension in Sarah’s neck and upper back, which
    the osteopath correlated with potential contributing factors to the vertigo.
  • Treatment involved gentle osteopathy using manipulative techniques to release tension and restore proper function of the cervical spine and improve blood flow to the inner ear structures.

Epley Maneuver:

The Epley maneuver is a specific series of head movements performed to
reposition the displaced calcium crystals in the inner ear.

  • Sarah was taught how to perform the Epley manoeuvre at home to help
    resolve the positional vertigo.

Treatment Outcomes:

First Osteopathy Session (Day 1):

  • After the initial osteopathy session, Sarah reported a slight reduction in
    dizziness and a feeling of relaxation in her neck and shoulders.
  • She was guided on how to perform the Epley manoeuvre at home and was
    advised to continue it as directed.


Second Osteopathy Session (Day 5):

  • Sarah reported a significant decrease in the frequency and intensity of
    vertigo episodes.
  • Osteopathic treatment focused on maintaining the progress achieved in
    the initial session and addressing any remaining tension.

Third Osteopathy Session (Day 10):

  • By the third session, Sarah reported being almost symptom-free.
    The osteopath conducted a final assessment and found Sarah’s neck
    tension greatly reduced, and her range of motion improved significantly.
    Sarah was advised to continue self-care exercises and follow-ups were
    scheduled as needed.

Follow-up:

Sarah’s symptoms continued to improve progressively, and after three sessions of
osteopathy coupled with consistent at-home Epley maneuver exercises, she
experienced complete resolution of her vertigo symptoms. She was able to return to
work and her regular activities without any issues.

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