What is dizziness?

Dizziness is amongst the most common complaints in medicine, affecting approximately 20% to 30% of persons in the general population (Karatas 2008).

Dizziness is a brood term used to describe a range of symptoms, such as feeling faint, woozy, foggy headed, weak or unsteady. Dizziness that creates the sense of you or surroundings spinning is referred to as vertigo.

Dizziness can be caused by a number of reasons, most commonly it is related to central nervous system and vestibular pathologies.

The most common vestibular disorders is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) (Brevern et al. 2007).

In most cases dizziness is a common symptom that is not usually a sign of anything serious, but it should always be investigated by your GP if :

  • you're worried about your dizziness or vertigo
  • it won't go away or it keeps coming back
  • you're finding it harder to hear
  • there's ringing or other sounds in your ears (tinnitus)
  • you have double vision, blurred vision or other changes in your eyesight
  • your face, arms or legs feel numb
  • you have other symptoms like fainting, headaches, feeling or being sick.

(NHS 2017)

Related Reading

Unsure if we can help?

Book now for your free 30 minute chat to see if we can help?

Call 01392 875770

Evidence for Osteopathy and dizziness

J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2017, 2, 18

Effects of Osteopathic Treatment on Postural Equilibrium Evaluated through a Stabilometric Platform: A Randomized and Controlled Study

Buscemi 2017

The aim of this study is to evaluate the cause-effect relationship between Manipulative Osteopathic Treatment (OMT) and its effects on equilibrium through stabilometric examinations. The 63 chosen subjects, including 23 females and 40 males, were between 18 and 45 years old, with a mean age of 29. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups: Manipulative Osteopathic Treatment (OMT) and Non Touch group (NON TOUCH). We can confirm that the tonic-postural response was more marked in the OMT group, with a statistic relevance both for the ellipse surface and the tangle length, with better stability and consequent energy saving in treated subjects. There were not statistically relevant variations for the NON TOUCH group. Therefore, it seems that Manipulative Osteopathic Treatment (OMT) influences stabilometry. However, posture influence due to Manipulative Osteopathic Treatment (OMT) should be evaluated with short- and long-term follow-ups, and with a larger sample size to test the administration of osteopathic treatments, in order to define an adequate work plan time period to prevent equilibrium loss.

Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 21, Issue 4, October 2017 pages 866-872

Impact of osteopathic therapy on proprioceptive balance and quality of life in patients with dizziness


Papa L, Amodio A et al

The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in patients with Benign-Paroxysmal-Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Thirty-one patients with BPPV were randomly assigned into two groups: 19 patients received osteopathic treatments (TG) and 12 patients received sham therapy (SG), both in four weekly sessions. Before the first and the last treatment, those patients were evaluated using Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) and stabilometric platform to assess lifestyle modification and balance functions. After the treatment session, TG compared to SG showed an improvement in DHI global (p = 0.02), functional (p = 0.03) and physical (p = 0.03) components, as well as a reduction of swinging area (p = 0.02). An association between swinging area and lifestyle measures (global [r = 0.53; p = 0.02]; functional [r = 0.50; p = 0.03]; physical [r = 0.60; p = 0.01]) changes were found in TG.


These findings suggest that OMT could be a useful approach to reduce imbalance symptoms and to improve the quality of life in patients suffering from dizziness associated with Benign-Paroxysmal-Positional Vertigo.


  • Karatas 2008. Central Vertigo and Dizziness: 'Epidemiology, Differential Diagnosis, and Common Causes.' The Neurologist. 14(6):355-364
  • Bevern 2007. Epidemiology of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: a population based study
    J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry, 7 , pp. 710-715
  • NHS 2017. Dizziness. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dizziness/. Accessed Feb 2019.