Skip to main content
Busy & Dizzy: Treating Dizziness with Physical Therapy

Busy & Dizzy: Treating Dizziness with Physical Therapy

by Molly Runquist, DPT, COMT, Emory Competent, AIB-VRCLeave a Comment

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults experience vertigo at least once in their lifetime.1 Symptoms may include feeling as if the room is spinning or just a general lightheadedness. Either way, these symptoms may interfere with your life. Complaints can vary in severity, but may be so severe that you are unable to work.

Although dizziness tends to be most prevalent in those ages 65 and older, it can impact people of any age. What’s more, dizziness not only has an affect on your life, but also the lives of those around you. For the growing “sandwich generation,” dizziness can affect the whole family. Sandwich generation is traditionally composed of those in their 40-70s who are both caring for their own children in addition to at least one parent. This segment of the population is growing fast as many more Millennials are finding themselves in the same situation. Plus, many of them are doing all of this as well as working part- or full-time.

Sandwich with a side of dizziness.

There are many factors to consider when caring for not only your own family, but a parent as well. There are financial strains as many of the aging population and sandwich generation may not have prepared for the cost for care. Additionally, each member of your family needs not only physical care, but emotional care as well. Being there to support all members of your family physically, emotionally, and financially can cause considerable strain in and of itself, but if you begin feeling symptoms of dizziness or vertigo… This can literally send your routine into a tailspin!

Feelings of room spinning, vertigo or lightheaded dizziness can affect many facets of your life and routine. You may notice that your symptoms grow worse when trying to play with or watch your children. Or while you are at work you may have more difficulties reading, focusing or concentrating. Additionally, you may notice when you go to stand and help your parent walk to the bathroom, you do not feel steady on your feet, which may place you both at increased risk of a fall. The complex visual environment of the grocery store can make the task seem overwhelming. Many of these symptoms can improve with identification of what is causing your dizziness and treatment. However, it is important to note, that dizziness can worsen with increased levels of fatigue, stress or anxiety – all of which would be more prevalent when caring for multiple individuals.

What can you do as a member of the sandwich generation facing dizziness?

Know that, first and foremost, to be the best care-taker, you first have to care for yourself. There are several systems that can be at fault causing symptoms of dizziness ranging from cardiovascular to inner ear, from neurological to anxiety.

Athletico has physical therapists that specialize in treating dizziness and can be your first stop in being evaluated for your symptoms in many states! These specialists are trained in providing a complete evaluation and will also assist in referring you to your physician, ENT, or another specialist if appropriate, for more care.

There are several types of dizziness that can be treated by a physical therapist. For patients in direct access states,* treatment will start the day of your evaluation! Some issues take 2-3 visits to improve, while others can take up to 6 weeks. The sooner you have your condition identified, the quicker you can be back on the road to caring for your family. There may be medical options to assist in your recovery such as medications, which can be addressed by your primary care provider or an ENT.

Additionally, working with your primary care provider to address any mental health concerns related to depression, anxiety, and the strain of caring for those you love can also help you manage your life and develop a lifestyle that empowers you to feel capable and enjoy each day while taking care of yourself and your family around you.

If you would like to learn more from an Athletico physical therapist, please use the button below to request an appointment.

Request an Appointment

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

1. “Vertigo.”, University of California San Francisco,
2. “Sandwich Generation, Club Sandwich Generation, Open Face Sandwich Generation, Elder Care, Parent Care.” Sandwich Generation, Club Sandwich Generation, Open Face Sandwich Generation, Elder Care, Parent Care,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Molly is a physical therapist passionate about educating others in physical therapy. Her favorite Vestibular Rehabilitation topics involve helping diagnose, treat, and improve the quality of life of those with dizziness. She has undergone extensive training from several groups specializing in treating vestibular conditions. She also develops courses within Athletico to improve other clinicians' and new graduates' ability to efficiently and effectively assist this population. Molly is excited to share her trials, success, and tricks with people looking to learn more about what physical therapy offers to improve their lives and make everybody better with Athletico.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

Physical Therapydizzinessvertigowhy am i dizzy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *