Vertigo is one of the most common ailments that people struggle with. However, there are still many misconceptions about what vertigo is. With that in mind, we’ve taken 5 of the questions that we often hear regarding vertigo and prepared the answers. Then we will discuss a natural way to find relief from vertigo and many other symptoms.
Q: Can I Catch Vertigo from Someone Else Who Has It?
A: The short answer to this question is no. Vertigo isn’t a contagious disease. Instead, think of it as a symptom of numerous underlying conditions. Now, there are a few viruses that cause vertigo which you could catch from someone else. But even if a person has vertigo due to the flu and you catch the flu from him, that is no guarantee that vertigo will be one of your symptoms.
In other words, you can’t catch vertigo, but be on guard not to catch a contagious virus that may result in a few temporary bouts of vertigo.
Q: What Is the Cure for Vertigo?
A: Unfortunately, there is no one cure that treats all cases of vertigo. However, determining the underlying cause of vertigo can make it easier to care for. The downside is that most people never find out what the underlying cause of their vertigo is.
One reason for this may be that few medical practitioners check the neck. We’ll discuss later on in our article why this is an important place to look for the genesis of vertigo, especially if a person has ever experienced head or neck trauma such as a car accident or a sports injury.
Q: How Long Is a Bout of Vertigo?
A: Once again, this depends on the underlying cause. For most people with recurring vertigo, episodes last anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours. For patients with Meniere’s disease (a rare vestibular condition) vertigo episodes may be particularly severe and last for up to 24 hours.
You can see how vertigo may be a minor annoyance for some but a debilitating concern for others. The length of time that attacks last and the severity of them often determine the quality of life of a person who is dealing with recurring vertigo.
There is also an extremely rare condition where vertigo is continuous. Some have claimed that thrill rides have caused such a problem. If you have ever experienced vertigo for a few minutes after getting off of a rollercoaster, just take that feeling an imagine it never ended. It’s an extremely difficult condition to deal with.
Q: Can Vertigo Cause a Headache?
A: The quick answer is no. However, migraines may present with both headaches and vertigo. In fact, about 40% of migraine patients also experience vertigo. The term for a migraine that also has vestibular symptoms is a vestibular migraine.
If you are dealing with both vertigo and migraines or headaches following an injury, this may indicate post-concussion syndrome. In such a case, it is important to find the underlying cause and relieve it. For many, it is a misalignment of the top two bones of the neck – the upper cervical spine.
Q: Is There a Way to Tell Which Ear the Vertigo Originates In?
A: It may be possible to pinpoint the ear that has the issue (although vertigo is sometimes caused by a bilateral problem). Try sitting on your bed close enough to the edge that when you lay back, just your head will hang over the edge. Then try turning your head to one side and laying back quickly. If vertigo doesn’t start within a minute, sit back up and try the other side. When you find the right ear, some cases of recurrent vertigo will be triggered.
Sometimes you can also tell which ear is the source of vertigo because just one ear has other symptoms such as hearing loss or tinnitus (a ringing sound in the ear).
Coping with Vertigo the Natural Way
Let’s get back to what we mentioned earlier about the neck often being the source of vertigo. When a head or neck injury occurs, even from something simple like a slip and fall or a fender bender, whiplash may occur and go undiagnosed. Whiplash injuries often cause C1 and C2 misalignments because these bones are shaped a little differently from the rest of the neck bones. It gives us additional range of motion in the neck but also leaves the bones open to misalignment.
When the C1 and C2 are out of place, the effects can be far-reaching. For example:
- Restricted blood flow to the brain because the cervical spine facilitates this flow of blood through the vertebral arteries
- Inhibited brainstem function because the C1 encircles the brainstem and a misalignment can put pressure on this vital part of the central nervous system
- The Eustachian tubes that drain fluid away from the ears can be affected leading to excess fluid in the ears that causes vertigo, tinnitus, and other symptoms
Upper cervical chiropractic is a subspecialty of chiropractic that involves precise measurements of the C1 and C2 followed by gentle adjustments of these bones to relieve some of the issues mentioned above. This has proved helpful for many who are suffering from vertigo.
If you are dealing with recurring vertigo, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, contact an upper cervical chiropractor near you to learn if this is the right solution for you.