Chiropractic Care and Dizziness
By Gary Picariello
You stand up, and your head begins to spin. The only thing you can do is look for something to brace yourself. Every step makes you feel like you’re sitting in a Tilt-a-Whirl. But you’re not in an amusement park. This is for real.
Although often times dizziness and/or the feeling of being lightheaded are symptoms of post-whiplash trauma or head injury, it can also be caused by inflammation of the inner ear. Fortunately, these symptoms (and that’s what vertigo is, a symptom, not a condition) are a relatively common complaint in the chiropractor’s office and are easily treated with spinal manipulation.
Round and Round
Vertigo, also known as disequilibrium is, generally defined as dysfunction in the cervical spine. The good news is that it's treatable in a chiropractic setting. Focusing on the cervical spine is essential to full recovery from vertigo regardless of the cause.
Medically speaking, one of the most common causes of vertigo and dizziness is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (also called BPPV). The Mayo Clinic points out that about 20 percent of all cases of dizziness are due to BPPV and nearly 50 percent of cases of dizziness in older patients is due to BPPV as well.
The causes of vertigo are often related to the central nervous system, so your chiropractor will have to conduct a full examination to get an idea of the most effective treatment.
Follow the Signs
Earlier we pointed out that dizziness/vertigo is not a condition but a symptom. As such, symptoms can range from mild (lack of equilibrium) to severe (vomiting) Recognizing that something is amiss can mean the difference for successful early treatment to the patient.
An article on the website Our Health.com points out that “faulty movement patterns that involve the cervical spine, including cervical flexion, sit-to-stand, breathing and swallowing must be detected and corrected.” This is especially important, explains Our Health, because “Often these patients will have imbalance in activity between the deep neck flexors and the upper cervical extensors.”
Examining for these imbalances and correcting them through physical rehabilitation will help the patient improve their eye-hand coordination as a whole and prevent treatment resistance and recurrence of the problem.
To help relieve BPPV as soon as possible, your chiropractor, doctor, audiologist or physical therapist may treat you with a series of movements known as the canalith repositioning procedure. But when it comes to thing having to do with the spine, which protects the central nervous system, a chiropractor at The Joint is always a good place to start.