12 Possible Triggers of a Vertigo Attack

Possible Triggers of a Vertigo Attack

Triggers of a Vertigo Attack?

What are common triggers of a vertigo attack? Vertigo attacks can be pretty unpleasant, especially if they happen several times a month. This is why it’s not surprising why a lot of people who are suffering with vertigo are looking for answers and possible triggers. If you often experience the vertigo and are looking for triggers of a vertigo attack then this article is going to give you a lot of good insights. This way, you can manage your vertigo symptoms better and prevent it from completely taking over your life. 

#1. BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)

BBPV accounts for the majority of reported vertigo attacks. Studies explain that it develops because of displaced calcium crystals inside the inner ear. The crystals interfere with your vestibular system’s function causing your brain to detect a false sense of motion. The spinning sensations often get triggered when a patient makes sudden head movements, such as rolling your head to the side. So sudden head movements can be one of the triggers of a vertigo attack.

The most common treatment approach associated with this type of vertigo is the Epley maneuver that is commonly performed by physical therapists specializing in vestibular disorders.

But other people who are suffering with what they believe to be BPPV have found relief but looking to misalignments in their upper neck.

Research related to upper cervical chiropractic and benign paroxysmal persistent vertigo (BPPV) suggests a potential link between upper cervical spine dysfunction and dizziness. A feasibility study on the effects of chiropractic care on dizziness, neck pain, and balance found that patients with neck pain and dizziness exhibited poorer postural performance, and after a course of manual therapy, they had significantly reduced neck pain and dizziness.

Another study discussed the cost-effective management of BPPV using canalith repositioning and the potential for problems in the ligaments or muscles of the upper cervical spine to cause cervicogenic dizziness.

Additionally, a clinical report mentioned eight patients with symptoms of persistent BPPV who presented for upper cervical chiropractic care. Furthermore, a retrospective analysis of 60 patients with chronic vertigo undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care included individuals diagnosed with BPPV.

These findings suggest a potential relationship between upper cervical chiropractic care and BPPV, and may that in many cases the triggers of a vertigo attack are not the head movements and associated crystals but instead related to the movement of the neck. Neck related vertigo is known as cervicogenic vertigo and may be the actual problem in many people suffering with BPPV.

#2. Inner ear infections

Inner ear infections are relatively common health complaints in the US. They mainly affect middle-aged individuals and seniors. Certain bacteria and viruses can trigger such problems, including:

  • Influenza virus
  • Herpes virus
  • Polio virus
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae 
  • Haemophilus influenzae

Infections like these are another possible trigger of a vertigo attack and should be addressed by dealing with the underlying infection.

#3. Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is among the leading reasons patients visit an upper cervical chiropractor for vertigo. If you frequently tune in to celebrity news, you might already know about this disease because of the stories shared by Jessie J and Huey Lewis. Meniere’s causes various problems ranging from spinning sensations, ear congestion, and tinnitus. In this case, accidents and injuries to the head and neck may be the underlying triggers of a vertigo attack leading many people with Meniere's Disease finding relief in upper cervical chiropractic offices.

Research on upper cervical chiropractic care and Ménière's disease, spanning various years, has primarily focused on case reports and observational studies. Here is a summary of the findings:

  1. A 2010 case report described the upper cervical chiropractic management of a 40-year-old woman with Ménière's disease. The patient experienced significant improvement in vertigo symptoms and hearing after 13 weeks of care.
  2. A 2020 case report and literature review detailed the improvement in symptoms of a 64-year-old female with Ménière's disease following 14 months of upper cervical chiropractic care. The patient reported significant improvement in vertigo, anxiety, and headaches.
  3. A 2019 case report showed a complete resolution of symptoms in a 55-year-old male patient with Ménière's disease after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care using the Quantum Spinal Mechanics 3 (QSM3) protocol.
  4. A study published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research found that patients receiving upper cervical care experienced an improvement in their Ménière's disease symptoms, with reduced severity and frequency of vertigo and tinnitus.
  5. A study examined a 33-year-old female with a history of Ménière's disease-like symptoms and found that upper cervical care led to a reduction in symptoms within a few days of care.
  6. Research has shown promising results for Ménière's sufferers who have turned to upper cervical chiropractic care. A 2010 study observed 139 patients, and a 2016 study followed 300 patients over six years, both showing significant improvement in symptoms.
  7. An upper cervical chiropractor's assessment is considered an essential routine in Ménière's disease care, with a focus on correcting neck misalignments that may contribute to the condition.
  8. A research report examined the connection between Ménière's disease and upper cervical subluxation, suggesting that a specific misalignment in the upper cervical spine could be a contributing factor.
  9. A separate study of 139 people with Ménière's indicated that upper cervical chiropractic care could lessen or eliminate some of the symptoms, particularly vertigo.
  10. A case study of a 63-year-old woman with Ménière's disease showed promising evidence that chiropractic care, following the Atlas Orthogonal protocol, effectively reduced her symptoms.

While the research is not exhaustive and consists mainly of case reports and small observational studies, there is a body of evidence suggesting that upper cervical chiropractic care may be beneficial for patients with Ménière's disease, particularly in managing symptoms such as vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.

#4. Acoustic neuroma

Acoustic neuroma refers to the benign tumor growth in the eighth cranial nerve (vestibulocochlear nerve). The pressure caused by the growing tumor interferes with vestibular function, causing you to experience disorienting symptoms such as vertigo attacks. So an acoustic neuroma is another one of the triggers of a vertigo attack. You are concerned about this trigger of a vertigo attack make sure you see your medical physician.

#5. Vestibular migraines

Vertigo attacks can develop because of vestibular migraines. Unlike regular migraines, this specific type of episode causes repeated dizziness and spinning sensations. Brain scans reveal that vestibular problems arise because of abnormal activity in the central vestibular cortex, a section of the brain in charge of detecting movement and the current orientation of the head. Vestibular migraines have also been associated with upper neck misalignments similar to Ménière's disease.

Based on the information provided, it appears that there is some evidence to suggest that upper cervical chiropractic care may have a positive effect on individuals suffering from vestibular migraines. Here are the key points from the search results:

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

  • Case studies suggest that misalignments in the upper cervical spine, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae, can lead to symptoms of vestibular migraines.
  • Upper cervical chiropractors use technology to examine the neck and devise treatment plans that may include adjustments to the upper cervical spine.
  • In the case studies mentioned, patients experienced significant relief from migraine and vertigo symptoms after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care.

Research and Case Studies

  • Dr. Lenarz conducted a detailed case study showing improvement in a patient with migraines and vertigo following upper cervical chiropractic care.
  • Another case study reported a 30-year-old woman who experienced a reduction in the severity and frequency of her migraine headaches and vertigo episodes after upper cervical chiropractic care.
  • Upper Cervical Chiropractic management has also been suggested for Ménière's disease, which shares some symptoms with vestibular migraines.

In summary, while there is some evidence from case studies and anecdotal reports that upper cervical chiropractic care may help alleviate symptoms of vestibular migraines, more rigorous and controlled research is needed to establish the effectiveness of this treatment approach. Patients interested in this form of care should consult with an upper cervical specialist to discuss the potential benefits and risks based on their individual health status.

#6. Stroke

Stroke is a life-threatening condition that can trigger various symptoms, including lightheadedness, vertigo attacks, and poor body coordination. Suppose you have stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, heart disease, history of stroke, and high blood cholesterol. In that case, we strongly suggest seeking emergency assistance to prevent unwanted complications such as paralysis.

#7. PPPD (Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness)

PPPD is an uncommon vestibular problem that causes chronic dizziness. Patients diagnosed with PPPD experience a rocking or swaying motion. Some also have difficulty walking around because they can’t maintain their balance or have uncontrolled body vibrations. 

chiropractor for vertigo


#8. Pregnancy 

Expecting mothers are highly susceptible to dizziness and vertigo. That’s because the weight of the growing child in the womb can compromise spine structure. It can also aggravate existing neck bone problems that may impact vestibular function. 

Besides postural problems, vertigo attacks and dizziness can sometimes stem from hormonal fluctuations, blood pressure changes, and low blood sugar levels. 

#9. Panic attacks

Panic attacks cause a direct impact on the vestibular system. While it doesn’t necessarily cause the spinning sensations, intense feelings of panic or anxiety can lead to problems that aggravate balance and posture problems. Some examples of these include the following:

  • Altered postural control
  • Gait problems
  • Uncoordinated body movements
  • Stiff muscles and joints
  • Visual and other sensory problems

#10. Allergies

Allergies trigger inflammation in various parts of the body. Sometimes, it can affect balance and proprioception because of the increased pressure on the vestibulocochlear nerves and other parts of the nervous system. Avoiding food and substances such as peanuts, dairy, seafood, and pollen grain would be wise to prevent an allergic reaction. 

#11. Multiple sclerosis

About 12 percent of patients living with multiple sclerosis experience spinning sensations. While studies have yet to uncover the connection between the two, it would be wise to be wary of your vertigo attacks to prevent unwanted side effects and avoid additional triggers. 

#12. Misaligned axis and atlas bones

Postural imbalances in the cervical spine can happen because of the misaligned atlas and axis bones. The atlas and axis bones sit directly underneath the head, making them highly susceptible to shifting during accidents or other traumatic events. 

Unfortunately, when these bones shift away from their normal position, they can impact nearby tissues such as the neck muscles, brainstem, and even the eighth cranial nerve. Consequently, this can trigger chemical imbalances in the brain and noticeable gait problems. This is frequently known as cervicogenic vertigo. So misalignments in the neck have also been known to be triggers of a vertigo attack.

Enjoy a Healthier Life with The Help of a Upper Cervical Chiropractor for Vertigo

Indeed, it’s not easy to experience vertigo attacks. In this article we can investigated 12 possible triggers of a vertigo attack. Thankfully, you can potentially eliminate its root cause with the help of an upper cervical chiropractor for vertigo especially if you're vertigo attacks are associated with cervicogenic vertigo, Ménière's disease, vestibular migraine or BPPV.

If after reading this article about 12 triggers of a vertigo attack you suspect having misaligned upper neck bones we suggest finding an upper cervical specialist near you. This will help you gauge the severity of your postural problem and see if the triggers of a vertigo attack can be eliminated in your case. 

Upper cervical chiropractic is a proven effective approach in resolving several triggers of a vertigo attack and dizziness. Hence, if your balance problems keep coming back, we strongly recommend exploring this holistic and natural remedy. 

It won’t take long before an upper cervical doctor can accurately assess your atlas and axis alignment. Then, once your specialist has everything needed, you may begin receiving gentle and well-calculated neck bone adjustments. 

Find the nearest upper neck specialist chiropractor in your city to have your head and neck alignment evaluated today!

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Area

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Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

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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.