Dizziness and Vertigo

Did you know almost half the cases of dizziness and vertigo have no known medical cause? Many vertigo patients often look for answers other than prescription medications. Some vertigo patients have found resolution to their vertigo through chiropractic care.

What is the relationship of the neck to vertigo?

First, what is vertigo?

Because of its often unknown origin, vertigo is best described by its symptoms: recurring dizziness, spinning sensations, and a loss of balance. Put simply, the brain becomes confused, and tells the body that the earth is moving or the room is spinning even when it is not.  More severe cases may include nausea, vomiting, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and blurred vision.

Vertigo is not dizziness alone (which can happen for a variety of reasons), but dizziness that occurs repeatedly, often based on repeated changes to the position of the head. Vertigo-like symptoms often come with other health problems, like Meniere’s Disease, Migraines, and inner-ear infection.

What is BPPV and what causes it?

When vertigo happens without a connection to any other symptoms, it is often called Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). BPPV is often caused by calcium deposits in the inner ear shifting when the head moves, causing the body’s nervous system all kinds of problems in maintaining balance. These calcium deposits are known as canalithiasis.

In cases where canalithiasis is actually the cause of the vertigo, many patients are helped by a specific treatment for repositioning the calcium crystals in the inner ear, called Epley’s maneuver.

Vertigo and head trauma and the neck

What causes vertigo in cases where the doctors can find an origin to the problem?

According to MayoClinic.com “When a cause can be determined, BPPV is often associated with a minor to severe blow to your head.” That means vertigo may actually be the result of a spinal problem, and not just a problem inside the brain.

The first neck bone or C1 has a unique role and shape, it is a coupling mechanism between the head and the neck. Car accidents, blows to the head, or falls, cause the body to adapt by locking this joint down.  As a result, the lower part of the brain stem and the beginning of the spinal cord is protected. Unfortunately, this temporary trauma disrupts and even chokes the nerve signals from the brain. The effect is that the nerves that communicate with the inner ear are disrupted. Inevitably, vertigo-like symptoms will be the result.

Vertigo and the chiropractic adjustment

Chiropractic adjustments reduce the amount of pressure on the brain stem.  Adjustments allow the nervous system to function more efficiently. The nervous system controls postural tone, spatial orientation, and coordination between movements in the body. When these systems are not working correctly, vertigo can result.  Chiropractic care helps the body to naturally reduce vertigo symptoms by correcting the cause.

Even if you have no obvious history of head or neck trauma, there is a chance that your vertigo or BPPV symptoms could be related to an cervical misalignment.

Be proactive – get to the root of your spinal problem before it has a chance to spread. Schedule an appointment for a chiropractic evaluation today!