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Motion Sickness: Symptoms & Chiropractic Treatment

If you have ever taken a road trip in a car, traveled on a plane, or been out on a boat in choppy water, you may have experienced symptoms of nausea or dizziness. These types of symptoms are related to a condition called Motion Sickness.

Read more to find out what causes motion sickness, symptoms and treatment options available.

What causes motion sickness?

Motion sickness is caused by the senses in the inner ear. The inner ear (specifically the semicircular canals) is responsible for sending signals to the brain, but if these signals are not sent accurately, the feeling of motion sickness is the result. This happens often when the motions that your inner ear are experiencing do not match up with the motion you are visualizing.

 Who experiences motion sickness?

Motion sickness can have an effect on almost anyone, although the most common sufferers are pregnant women and young children. There are a few factors that also play a role in motion sickness or “seasickness” and these include:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Poor ventilation
  • Type of travel (train, plane, boat)
  • Inability to see out of a window

Common Symptoms

The severity of common motion sickness symptoms vary person to person. Here are some common symptoms that you may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Sweats


If you have noticed these common symptoms whenever you are traveling, or if you are pregnant, be sure to keep track of when and where you were experiencing them. These notes can be used when you go to see your doctor. There are no specific lab tests that need to be conducted. Your doctor will give you a general examination and talk with you about the various symptoms you may have been experiencing.

Chiropractic Treatment

There are a variety of treatment options available for motion sickness that includes: over the counter medication, changes in mode of travel and relaxation techniques. Because motion sickness may be triggered by anxiety or stress, using chiropractic care could be an effective and more natural way to relieve yourself of these common symptoms. There was a study that applied the use of chiropractic spinal and cranial manipulations to patients that were sufferers of motion sickness and found that the patients at the end of the study were able to successfully travel in various modes of transportation without experiencing any of the related symptoms to motion sickness.

If you are interested in trying chiropractic therapy to treat your motion sickness, be sure to talk with both your doctor and chiropractor about the best options and treatments available. 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Guilhem Vellut

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