10 Things You May Not Know About Vertigo and Balance

natural way to combat vertigo

If you are suffering from vertigo, the problem either finds its root in the central nervous system or (more likely) the vestibular system. The vestibular system is the balance system of the body. We’re going to take a look at 10 things most people don’t know about the vestibular system. We will conclude by discussing a natural way to combat vertigo.

#1 Several Organs Work Together So You Can Keep Your Balance

The brain uses information that it receives from many different parts of the body. For example, sensory information comes from the eyes, ears, and various locations throughout the musculoskeletal system. When we talk about the vestibular system, we are speaking about the balance system located in the inner ear.

#2 Vestibular Dysfunction Is One of the Most Common Ailments

Just how common is vertigo? As much as 69 million Americans have suffered from vertigo. Once a person hits age 40, he or she has about a 1 in 3 chance of ending up experiencing this problem. That makes it one of the most common symptoms out there.

#3 A Lot of Issues Can Affect the Vestibular System

Not all cases of vertigo that are related to the vestibular system are the same. The problem can be the result of trauma, medication issues, autoimmune problems, and more. When vertigo stems from the vestibular system, it is called peripheral vertigo.

#4 CNS Problems Can Cause Vertigo Too

Since your brain has to process all of the data, it makes sense that vertigo can also stem from the central nervous system (called central vertigo). Again, there is no single cause for central vertigo. It could be due to a neurological condition such as migraines or multiple sclerosis, but it may also be due to injuries that commonly occur with head or neck trauma.

#5 Vestibular Problems and Cognitive Issues Go Hand in Hand

If you suffer from vertigo, you may also experience what many call brain fog. These cognitive symptoms can take the form of anything from difficulty concentrating to short-term memory issues. So don’t write off balance problems and cognitive decline as being due to aging. You may be experiencing an underlying and correctable issue.

#6 Vertigo Is Usually Accompanied by Other Symptoms

The room spinning around you may seem like the biggest issue at the moment, but don’t forget to share your other symptoms with the doctor as these are important to a diagnosis. Many vertigo suffers also experience things like fatigue, vision problems, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, nausea and vomiting, and other symptoms.

#7 People May Think You Are Faking

There are no outward signs of vertigo. You basically look fine, so people may wonder if you are really just laying in bed to be lazy or if your fall was due to clumsiness. This attaches an unfortunate stigma to vertigo which leads some to avoid seeking appropriate care. You can’t just “fake it till you make it” with vertigo. One bad fall is all it takes to cause serious injuries or even death. If you experience recurring vertigo, get it checked out.

#8 NASA Got the Ball Rolling on Vertigo Research

Some of the earliest vertigo research goes back to NASA’s studies performed on astronauts returning to earth. So while SpaceX may seem to be taking the lead in the future of space travel, don’t forget the significant contribution NASA has made not just to space exploration but even for the medical community.

#9 There Are Vertigo Support Groups

Because of the stigma of vertigo, support groups have sprung up online where people can commiserate on their health concerns with others who are going through similar issues. Just remember that the people in your support group are there for emotional support, not to provide medical advice.

#10 There are Many Ways You Can Relieve or Manage Your Episodes

While vertigo is a prevalent health concern among a wide spectrum of individuals, there are many potential solutions or remedies that you can try. Below is a round-up of some of the most promising options that vertigo-afflicted individuals use to cope.

Engage in Stretching and Breathing Exercises

Once again, the goals are to relieve stress and help your body to find its balance. Your central nervous system relies on a steady flow of oxygen. Breathing properly and stretching out the muscles can help to ensure that oxygen-rich blood is reaching the brain. Remember to fill the lower part of your lungs first in order to get a proper breath. The mistake many people make when breathing is thinking the chest should expand first, but really the abdomen should expand as the diaphragm drops to fill the lungs.

Supplement with Vitamin C

Before you go out and buy an expensive supplement, there are plenty of ways to get vitamin C into your diet naturally. Lemon is one great way. Try adding a squeeze of lemon to your water first thing in the morning every day. About half a lemon should do the trick. It can help to improve your immune system function and stop your body’s moisture from evaporating through the skin. If you need to sweeten it a little, try honey instead of sugar. You can even heat your water up and make it like a morning tea.

Take or Consume Ginger

While research is still being done to show the benefits of ginger for dizziness, sailors once used to use it to combat motion sickness. It is also the common treatment for dizziness in Chinese medicine. You can try gnawing on some ginger root if you really like the flavor. Or you can turn it into a tea and add some honey to cut through the spiciness.

Tap into Virtual Reality

An article published by BBC News in January of 2017 outlines a new hope for those suffering from vertigo. It is anticipated that virtual reality can soon be used to diagnose and care for visual vertigo. What is vertigo and why does it occur?

Vertigo is a false sensation of movement which causes the person to feel as if he or the things around him are spinning or otherwise moving. Other symptoms that often accompany it include:

  • Nausea and possible vomiting
  • Headache
  • Tinnitus – ringing in the ears
  • Sweating

Symptoms may last a couple of minutes or as long as a few hours and may be intermittent. People with visual vertigo often find certain places to be a trigger for their vertigo, such as a supermarket with a large variety of items and repetitive aisles. “Supermarket syndrome” is another term for it. Another trigger can be walking by a river with motion on one side of the person but not the other.

Virtual reality allows doctors to control what type of environment they create for the patient. This may be able to help them discover their triggers and then use this as rehab. Vertigo is often the result of damage to the vestibular system – the system that controls special orientation and balance. Virtual reality as help to vertigo patients is an area still being developed. However, there is a natural, side effect free way to care for the false sense of movement that has been helping many.

Practice Somatic Awareness

Somatic awareness is an approach that focuses on improving one's ability to move through space effectively and efficiently. Essentially, it helps affected patients become more aware of their bodies and surroundings. In a way, it can help you move more fluidly through space without unnecessary effort, tension, or stress. Below is a list of the things you need to build or nurture your somatic awareness:                    

Do a quick mindful body scan

Somatic awareness is mostly based on self and body awareness – the belief that there are many ways to perceive our world. These include processing thoughts, emotions, and sensory perceptions. Doing quick mindful body scans is a great way to jumpstart this routine. To do this, you must identify your source of stressors and pain and gauge your level of discomfort.

Awaken your senses

Dealing with chronic vertigo episodes can be overwhelming and mentally taxing. Sometimes, it can also affect how you perceive things around you. As part of your efforts to build your somatic awareness, you might find it helpful to reawaken your senses. You can do this with the help of aromatherapy as well as music meditation.

Engage in somatic-based exercises

There are many different types of somatic exercises that you can use at home or in a clinical setting with a therapist who specializes in this approach of therapy. Any movement that engages the entire body, such as yoga, Tai chi, or Pilates. These can help you to build strength and flexibility in the way your body moves. They can also help you to focus on your breathing, which can help with stress management.

Explore Upper Cervical Care

Many people in case studies have seen dramatic improvements following upper cervical chiropractic care. Why is this the case?

To begin with, the upper cervical spine is designed to make it easier to move the head. The C1 and C2 are uniquely shaped to provide this range of movement. But it also means the bones misalign easily.

Second, because of the location of these bones, even the slightest misalignment can have far-reaching effects. They protect the brainstem but could just as easily put pressure on it if misaligned. These bones facilitate blood flow to the brain but may reduce that blood flow if a subluxation exists. They are also close enough to affect how the ears drain if a misalignment causes a lesion to form on the Eustachian tubes gradually.

For these and many other reasons, it makes sense to see an upper cervical chiropractor before subjecting yourself to invasive surgeries or even some of the injections that people receive in the ear for vertigo. Here are a few more things you should know about how upper cervical differs from general chiropractic:

  • Safe – There is no forcing or “cracking” of the spine. Adjustments are low force making this a safe option for all members of the family from the very young to the very old.
  • Long-Lasting – Gentle adjustments last longer. This also makes upper cervical a cost-effective form of care. You may need weekly visits at first, but once your adjustments begin to hold on their own, you can space out how often you get examined.
  • As-Needed – You don’t get “maintenance adjustments” if you don’t have a misalignment. If the vertebrae are holding, your upper cervical practitioner will let you leave without an adjustment.

If you suffer from vertigo, it just makes sense to schedule an appointment with an upper cervical practitioner. Use the search feature on this site to find one near you today.  

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.