Can't Lie Flat On My Back, Anyone Else?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by greatgran, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Since this DD and the vertigo attacks, I haven't been able to lie flat on my back in bed or to go to the dentist, can't get hair washed in a salon nor get some medical test. When I try to lie flat I feel weird in the head like a vertigo or dizzy spell is coming . I need to go for a CT Scan and maybe an MRI but the thought of being flat scars me. I sleep on 3 pillows. I am not sure if this is anxiety related or something else going on.

  2. BeanyMalone

    BeanyMalone New Member

    I have been having vertigo attacks for about 2-3 yrs, just when i put my head back ie washing my hair, lying flat on my back. Sometimes they feel like room spins as if I have had too much to drink. I have mentioned it to doctors before but they don't seem very concerned. If you are going to have an MRI on the head, may I seriously suggest a Valium beforehand. It does two things: 1. It helps relax you 2. If you are tense it will keep your muscles from spasming. The doctor will give you one before if they know it may be scary for you.
  3. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Thanks for your reply, I take xanax so think if I have an MRI they will have to knock me out as we have the closed ones, which that doesn't bother me as much as lying flat. Do you think it could be an inner ear problems that our doctors are over looking? I have been to an ENT several time and he keeps saying sinus. My allergy test were negative, wasn't tested for food allergies but I think its something else going on. Have you had an MRI ? I want to know what is going on but scared to go, in fact I haven't mentioned to my doc about not being able to lie flat. Just scared of that awful feeling.

    Sometimes I wonder if it is anxiety cause I am so scared of vertigo and the dizziness.

    How often do you have your vertigo attacks and how long do they last? I have bad ones about 3 times a year and they last about 6 hours or longer but then I feel spacy and off balance for months.

    Thanks and God Bless,
  4. BeanyMalone

    BeanyMalone New Member

    I had an MRI a few years ago, prior to the vertigo and it came back normal.My vertigo can last from a few seconds to half hour. Sometimes I get nauseated. I was just remembering that a few years ago I began having such horrid dizzy/balance issues that I went to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with (I hope I spell this right)Labyrinitus-I think that's right-I'll tell you what I will look it up and post the info. Maybe you have this. You may not need an MRI. Be right back-Beany
    PS God Bless You Too!
    PPS I am not good with cut-n-paste so a lot of uneeded info is there. Hope it helps. Ask your Doc before you spend a bunch of money!
    [This Message was Edited on 03/19/2009]
  5. BeanyMalone

    BeanyMalone New Member

    This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references (ideally, using inline citations). Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2008)
    Classification and external resources
    ICD-10 H83.0
    ICD-9 386.3
    DiseasesDB 29290
    MeSH C09.218.568.315
    Labyrinthitis is a balance disorder. It is an inflammatory process affecting the labyrinths that house the vestibular system (which sense changes in head position) of the inner ear.

    In addition to balance control problems, a labyrinthitis patient may encounter hearing loss and tinnitus. Labyrinthitis is usually caused by a virus, but it can also arise from bacterial infection, head injury, extreme stress, an allergy or as a reaction to a particular medicine. Both bacterial and viral labyrinthitis can cause permanent hearing loss, although this is rare.

    Labyrinthitis often follows an upper respiratory tract infection (URI).

    Contents [hide]
    1 Labyrinthitis
    2 Recovery
    3 Labyrinthitis and anxiety
    4 Treatment
    5 See also
    6 References
    7 External links

    [edit] Labyrinthitis
    A prominent and debilitating symptom of labyrinthitis is chronic vertigo (medical). The vestibular system is a set of sensory inputs consisting of three semicircular canals, sensing changes in rotational motion, and the otoliths, sensing changes in linear motion. The brain combines visual cues with sensory input from the vestibular system to determine adjustments required to retain balance. When working properly, the vestibular system also relays information on head movement to the eye muscle, forming the vestibulo-ocular reflex, in order to retain continuous visual focus during motion. When the vestibular system is affected by labyrinthitis, rapid, undesired eye motion (nystagmus), often results from the improper indication of rotational motion. Nausea, anxiety, and a general ill feeling are common due to the distorted balance signals that the brain receives from the inner ear.

    This can also be brought on by pressure changes such as those experienced while flying or scuba diving.[1][2][3]

    [edit] Recovery
    Recovery from acute labyrinthine inflammation generally takes from one to six weeks; however, it is not uncommon for residual symptoms (dysequilibrium and/or dizziness) to last for many months or even years[4] if permanent damage occurs.

    Recovery from a permanently damaged inner ear typically follows three phases:

    An acute period, which may include severe vertigo and vomiting
    approximately two weeks of subacute symptoms and rapid recovery
    finally a period of chronic compensation which may last for months or years.

    [edit] Labyrinthitis and anxiety
    Chronic anxiety is a common side effect of labyrinthitis which can produce tremors, heart palpitations, panic attacks, derealization and depression. Often a panic attack is one of the first symptoms to occur as labyrinthitis begins. While dizziness can occur from extreme anxiety, labyrinthitis itself can precipitate a panic disorder. Three models have been proposed to explain the relationship between vestibular dysfunction and panic disorder:[5]

    Psychosomatic model: vestibular dysfunction which occurs as a result of anxiety.
    Somatopsychic model: panic disorder triggered by misinterpreted internal stimuli (e.g., stimuli from vestibular dysfunction), that are interpreted as signifying imminent physical danger. Heightened sensitivity to vestibular sensations leads to increased anxiety and, through conditioning, drives the development of panic disorder.
    Network alarm theory: panic which involves noradrenergic, serotonergic, and other connected neuronal systems. According to this theory, panic can be triggered by stimuli that set off a false alarm via afferents to the locus ceruleus, which then triggers the neuronal network. This network is thought to mediate anxiety and includes limbic, midbrain and prefrontal areas. Vestibular dysfunction in the setting of increased locus ceruleus sensitivity may be a potential trigger.

    [edit] Treatment
    Prochlorperazine is commonly prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of vertigo and nausea.

    Because anxiety interferes with the balance compensation process, it is important to treat an anxiety disorder and/or depression as soon as possible to allow the brain to compensate for any vestibular damage. Acute anxiety can be treated in the short term with benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium); however, long-term use is not recommended because of the addictive nature of benzodiazepines and the interference they may cause with vestibular compensation and adaptive plasticity [6].

    Evidence suggests that selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors may be more effective in treating labyrinthitis. They act by relieving anxiety symptoms and may stimulate new neural growth within the inner ear,[citation needed] allowing more rapid vestibular compensation to occur. Trials have shown that SSRIs do in fact affect the vestibular system in a direct manner and can increase dizziness[7].

    Some evidence suggests that viral labyrinthitis should be treated in its early stages with corticosteroids such as prednisone, and possibly antiviral medication such as Valtrex and that this treatment should be undertaken as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage to the inner ear.

    Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a highly effective way to substantially reduce or eliminate residual dizziness from labyrinthitis. VRT works by causing the brain to use already existing neural mechanisms for adaptation, plasticity, and compensation. The direction, duration, frequency, and magnitude of the directed exercises are closely correlated with adaptation and recovery. Symmetry is more rapidly restored when VRT exercises are specifically tailored for the patient.

    One study found that patients who believed their illness was out of their control showed the slowest progression to full recovery, long after the initial vestibular injury had healed.[4] The study revealed that the patient who compensated well was one who, at the psychological level, was not afraid of the symptoms and had some positive control over them. Notably, a reduction in negative beliefs over time was greater in those patients treated with rehabilitation than in those untreated. "Of utmost importance, baseline beliefs were the only significant predictor of change in handicap at 6 months followup."

    [edit] See also
    Balance disorder
    Vestibular system

    [edit] References
    ^ Martin-Saint-Laurent A, Lavernhe J, Casano G, Simkoff A (March 1990). "Clinical aspects of inflight incapacitations in commercial aviation". Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine 61 (3): 256–60. PMID 2317181.
    ^ Farmer, Jr JC (ed). (1973). "Labyrinthine Dysfunction
  6. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    My first dx 8 yrs ago was labyrinthits when I had my first vertigo attack. I haven't been the same since. I had a CT which was normal, then was referred to an ENT he gave me Adivert but that seemed to make it worse. This was the beginning of my CFS. I use to have periods that I wasn't bothered to much by the ear thing . Thank goodness I don't have the vertigo that often with this weird head feeling as I call it. The ENT did say it could be a sinus infection and gave me an antiboitoc and I felt so much better but it always returns. I just feel I need a long term antibiotic. I have an appointment Tues. with my regular PA so will mention this to her. Glad your MRI was ok, still don't think I can have one.
    Oh, I have ringing in my ears 24/7 and when this head thing is acting up its so much worse, even when I don't have this weird head feeling I still can't lie flat.
    I appreciate all the info you gave me.


  7. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I can lay on my back with pillows, no problem, I sleep with 3 of them its the lying flat with no props that I get the sensation of dizziness, I am beginnin to think its has a lot to do with my ears and anxiety. Oh, the CT Scan I had one several years ago and it was normal but no way could I have the MRI.. With the vertigo I just have to sit for hours in the recliner with my eyes closed and pray it leaves. I am going to practice lying flat if only for a minute and then turning my head and see how I do just to see if I can. Not sure when I will try..I am such a chicken.

  8. DemonFairy

    DemonFairy New Member

    If you fear that you'll be dizzy during the test, you should talk to the people who are going to be doing the test and find out what they suggest. I'm sure they've dealt with the situation before. Maybe they can adjust the machine (I have no idea - I had one MRI and took Xanax because I was afraid of being claustrophobic, but it worked out okay...maybe I slept through part of it) or maybe you'll need more meds than most (have someone drive to/from the test), but I'm sure they'll figure out a way to make it easier on you. Don't be afraid to ask them for help. Believe me, they want to do whatever will make you the most comfortable because that will help them not have to spend extra time on the scan because you're moving around or feeling sick.

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