An Easy Answer for Vertigo That Will Make Your Head Spin
By Dr. Molly Casey
Feeling dizzy is no fun for most people. Even if you like a merry-go-round, the fun wears off pretty quickly. Vertigo is the sensation of feeling off-balance or dizzy. You may perceive it as if the world is spinning around you or you yourself are spinning. What causes it, and can chiropractic care help?
There are different causes for vertigo. It is often an inner ear problem. The inner ear deals with balance as it sends signals to the brain regarding head and body movements relative to gravity. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is when very small calcium particles are dislodged from their normal location and they collect in the inner ear and cause variations in signals sent to the brain to create an unbalanced feeling. This can occur at any age and there’s no known reason as to why it occurs.
Meinere’s disease can cause vertigo; it is also associated with ringing in the ears. It is thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the inner ear. Infections can also cause vertigo. It is usually related to viruses and the skewed sense of balance that is thought to be a result of inflammation in the inner ear.
Head and neck injury or dysfunction can also cause vertigo because the nerves that innervate the ear and affect the functioning of the ear exit the upper cervical (neck) area. Other, less common, causes of vertigo include migraines, medication, and strokes.
Patients relate different descriptions of the unbalanced feeling. People with vertigo will often describe it as a spinning, tilting, swaying, unbalanced feeling, or being pulled to one direction. Some have other associated symptoms such as nystagmus (abnormal eye movements), nauseousness, vomiting, headaches, or ringing in the ears.
Often people are told there is not much that can be done for vertigo and time is the only answer. That is not always the truth. Chiropractic care is a strong candidate for successful conservative care for patients with vertigo and even has value if it is caused from infection. Chiropractic care and adjustments of the cervical spine will increase cervical (neck) joint function and promote proper nervous system communication. The ear communicates with the brain and vice versa through the nervous system; it is imperative that the spinal joints are moving properly and not interfering with that communication system whatsoever.
Adjustments stimulate proprioceptors which tell your body where you are in space; this facilitates proper communication, as well. Chiropractic adjustments also promote proper blood and lymph flow, which play a role in healing from infections and inflammation of all kinds. If the vertigo is a result of either inflammation or infection, chiropractic adjustments support the body in healing optimally. There is also a technique called Epley’s Maneuver that some chiropractors use; it helps reposition some of the accumulated debris in the inner ear.
Vertigo can be debilitating depending on the degree to which one experiences it and the length of time it lasts. There is help available and time is not the only answer. If you, or someone you love, is experiencing that swaying feeling, see the doctors at The Joint Chiropractic and let them help you and your body heal.
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