Vertigo is one of the most common ailments a person can experience, especially after the age of 40. However, vertigo isn’t a condition itself. It is a symptom of numerous underlying problems. What we are going to consider today is a list of indicators that may reveal your vertigo as being a symptom of migraines.
Since about 12% of adults get migraines and 40% of migraineurs have vestibular symptoms, this underlying cause could be more likely than you expect. But we won’t leave you without hope. At the end of our discussion, we will consider a natural way to cope with both vertigo and migraines.
#1 You Get Migraines
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the fact is that many people get migraines and deal with vertigo but never connect the two. You don’t have to experience vertigo at the same time as a headache in order for it to be linked to the migraines. A headache is just one symptom of a migraine, and not all symptoms occur simultaneously. For some migraine patients, vertigo can precede or occur in the days following a headache.
In fact, you don’t have to get a headache every time a migraine occurs. A vestibular migraine (a migraine with vestibular symptoms such as vertigo) can occur with or without a headache.
#2 You Have a Family History of Migraines
If either of your parents gets migraines, you are far more likely to experience them yourself. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, even having just one parent who gets migraines increases your risk of experiencing them to 50%. If both of your parents are migraineurs, you have a 75% chance of joining them. Plus, about 90% of people who are diagnosed with migraines have someone in their family who also gets them, so don’t count out migraines just because mom and dad never had any.
It’s not a genetic condition, so you don’t inherit migraines, but you can inherit the predisposition toward them. Then you just need a simple trigger to kick them off (often some kind of head or neck trauma).
#3 Vertigo Isn’t Your Only Symptom
Vertigo rarely appears alone, but the accompanying symptoms are usually things like tinnitus (a ringing in the ear), hearing problems, earache, balance issues, or a feeling of fullness in the ear. You are more likely to be experiencing a migraine if you have other accompanying symptoms such as:
- A moderate to severe headache
- Pulsing or throbbing pain
- Sensitivity to lights, smells, or sounds
- Nausea and/or vomiting
#4 Your Vertigo Is Triggered by Common Migraine Triggers
Vertigo is usually triggered by simple things such as head position. You may get dizzy sitting up too fast in the morning or when you bend over to pick something up. Migraine triggers are quite different. Your vertigo may be related to migraines if it is triggered by things like:
- Lack of sleep
- Fluctuating hormones
- Bright lights or repeating patterns
- Strong smells
- Loud sounds
- Weather changes
#5 Vertigo Began Following Head or Neck Trauma
Vertigo and migraines often go hand-in-hand following some kind of accident or injury. This may also indicate an issue such as post-concussion syndrome which is often characterized by problems with both migraines and vertigo. Other symptoms might include:
- Cognitive issues (memory, concentration, etc.)
What to Do for Vertigo and Migraines
If it turns out your vertigo is connected to migraines, don’t panic. Since these conditions can both be related to a misalignment of the top bones of the spine, there may be a simple way to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
Have you experienced a head or neck trauma, even one several years in the past that you thought was completely healed? If an underlying misalignment went unnoticed in the top two bones of the spine, the following might have resulted:
- Inhibited Brainstem Function – The brainstem is protected by the C1 (atlas). If this bone becomes misaligned, it can put pressure on the brainstem. This, in turn, can create the conditions for migraines and vertigo.
- Restricted Blood Flow to the Brain – The cervical vertebrae have tiny loops of bone called vertebral foramen. These provide a safe path for the arteries that bring blood to the brain. Unfortunately, a misalignment can create a kink in the line. If this is restricting blood flow to certain parts of the brain, vertigo and migraines are just a couple of possible results.
- Inhibited Cerebrospinal Fluid Drainage – When the top two bones of the neck are misaligned, it can affect cerebrospinal fluid drainage. This can lead to intracranial pressure and, once again, migraines and vertigo.
Since the misalignment is the underlying problem in all of these scenarios, it makes sense to correct it. Upper cervical chiropractors focus on these top two bones of the spine. We use precise measurements taken by means of diagnostic imaging to tailor gentle adjustment to each individual’s needs. For many patients in case studies, this has led to significant benefits with vertigo becoming less frequent or severe. Some even see complete resolution of the problem. The same is true for those with migraines.
If you are suffering from vertigo, regardless of whether it is linked to migraines or not, upper cervical chiropractic may be the solution you have been searching for. To learn more about this natural form of holistic healthcare, contact a practitioner in your local area.