Imagine sitting up and feeling the whole world spinning around you. Or lying in bed and turning on your side, only to have your bed seemingly spinning out of control. Or worse - Stopping at a stop sign and turning your head to see if any cars are coming, and suddenly feeling like you’re on a fast-spinning carnival ride.
That is what it feels like to suffer from vertigo. Although these feelings can only last for a few minutes, they can still cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, a loss of balance, head injuries, and falls.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is the sense of rotation or spinning even if you are perfectly still. There are several causes of vertigo – inflammation in the inner ear, Meniere’s disease, Vestibular migraine, acoustic neuroma, neurological issues, and most commonly – BBPV.
About 65 percent of vertigo is diagnosed as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BBPV occurs when small crystals or stones found normally within the inner ear become displaced and cause irritation to the small hair cells within the semicircular canals. BPPV causes intense, brief episodes of vertigo immediately following a change in the position of your head – like sitting up or turning your head.
Between 2-3 percent of the population is at risk of developing BPPV, especially older women.
What is the Treatment for Vertigo?
Traditional approaches include medications, such as Meclizine and diazepam (Valium), can be used to decrease nausea or vomiting, but can also cause drowsiness and other side effects. Plus, they only treat the symptoms; they are not considered a cure for vertigo. Through my practice and numerous case studies, upper cervical chiropractic has been shown to significantly reduce vertigo episodes and symptoms. It also has been shown to increase postural sense, balance, and coordination.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Vertigo
Your body’s ability to stay balanced relies on the relay of messages passing between the brain and the rest of the body. The communication, function, and health of YOU is dependent on a healthy high functioning nervous system. The essential components of the nervous system are protected and enclosed within the spinal bones. The top of the spine includes the Atlas and Axis vertebrae, within these structures lies the brainstem. The majority of our cranial nerves branch out from the brainstem including cranial nerve #8 known as the vestibulocochlear nerve, which is responsible for hearing and balance.
The atlas axis region of the spine (top two bones) is a unique area of the spine that can be susceptible to head injuries, traumas, and accidents during life. These incidents, slips, and falls can cause misalignment of the top few vertebrae and can distort signaling between the brain and spinal cord, causing balance and equilibrium issues such as vertigo.
This could be the root behind many vertigo cases. Upper cervical chiropractic acknowledges this as a major component. If you or anyone your know suffers from vertigo. Then we should sit down and have a conversation if upper cervical chiropractic is right for you.