Symptoms Following MTBI

Dizziness is a complaint that requires careful evaluation to find the true cause. This could include hypertension/hypotension, medication effects, alcohol/drug use, visual dysfunction, or other medical conditions. The most common cause of dizziness following MTBI is related to post-trauma vestibular system dysfunction, also known as benign positional vertigo.

Note: The peripheral and central vestibular systems, and the rehabilitation of these system dysfunctions, are very complex subjects that require in-depth discussion in a separate forum. However, vestibular rehabilitation is briefly addressed in the Comprehensive Assessments and Treatments section of this document.

Edema in the inner ear membranous labyrinth causes dizziness with ringing in the ears (tinnitus), a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, and low-frequency hearing loss (Meniere's disease). Treatment includes restriction of dietary salt and the use of diuretics. Perilymphatic fistula (hole) causes symptoms including vertigo, nausea, tinnitus, and hearing. This traumatically induced hole through the round or oval inner ear window results in leakage of inner ear fluids into the middle ear. Treatment, if symptoms are not spontaneously resolved, involves surgical repair to close the fistula.

Cervical vertigo is a sensation of dizziness related to musculoskeletal neck injury from whiplash. Symptoms often respond to multiple therapeutic interventions provided by a physical therapist.

Musculoskeletal complaints relate to pain in the neck, back, or other areas of the body. Acceleration/deceleration injuries involving hyperflexion/hyperextension (whiplash) of the cervical spine (neck) frequently produce complaints that linger for weeks and even months if not quickly treated.

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