Vertigo cases are divided into two categories based on the underlying cause of the condition. The less common causes are related to the central nervous system, and this is referred to as central vertigo. However, what we want to take a closer look at today is the far more common category of vestibular problems that cause vertigo. These are referred to peripheral vertigo. Let’s consider 6 conditions that cause peripheral vertigo and a natural therapy that is bringing hope to many long-time vertigo sufferers.
#1 Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Since that’s quite a mouthful, most people just say positional vertigo. This condition is often attributed to crystals contained in the inner ear’s three canals, all of which are loop-shaped. If one of these crystals gets dislodged from its appropriate canal, even slight movements of the head can result in the onset of vertigo. Positional vertigo can result from numerous conditions, but it is often associated with head or neck trauma.
#2 Side Effects from Medication
This is a surprisingly common cause of vertigo. It is often associated as a side effect with particular types of medication including but not limited to:
- Blood pressure medication
- Some cancer drugs
- Diuretics (water pill)
Labyrinthitis involves inflammation of the inner ear that leads to vertigo. Since the inner ear is one of the primary parts of the body that reports the information the brain uses to determine spatial orientation and balance, this can lead to very sudden bouts of vertigo. It commonly occurs during or just following an illness such as an upper respiratory infection, ear infection, a cold, or the flu. Symptoms should start to clear up in the days following the end of the illness.
#4 Vestibular Neuronitis
This is often confused as being the same as labyrinthitis because it involves inflammation resulting in vertigo during or following many of the same types of illnesses. However, instead of the inflammation being in the inner ear, it affects the vestibular nerve that carries signals from the ear to the brain. As a result, vertigo attacks can be severe.
#5 Meniere’s Disease
Only about 0.2% of the population suffers from this condition, but many are being diagnosed each year, so this may not remain a rare syndrome for long. Researchers have struggled to lock down the underlying cause of Meniere’s disease since it was first classified over 150 years ago. However, it is generally accepted that it has to do with excess fluid in the inner ear. This causes recurring vertigo as well as tinnitus (ringing in the ear), a feeling of fullness in the affected ear, and hearing loss. Medications and dietary restrictions are the standard treatment options offered to reduce fluid in the inner ear. However, some of these medications (often diuretics) can actually cause vertigo.
#6 Head or Neck Injuries
Vertigo is frequently found to be a symptom of post-concussion syndrome or other aftereffects of head and neck trauma. Car accidents, sports injuries, and other traumas that result in concussion or whiplash can lead to vertigo. Unfortunately, concussions often go undiagnosed since many people do not realize you can sustain a concussion without being knocked unconscious. Whiplash also goes undiagnosed most of the time since it can occur at speeds as slow as 5 mph. Who goes to the doctor over a fender bender, right? We may also fail to mention the accident from months or years ago when going to the doctor with a new case of vertigo and get the wrong diagnosis as a result.
Bringing Hope to Those with Recurring Vertigo
If you suffer from recurring vertigo, dietary changes and side-effect-ridden medications that just cover up symptoms may provide little solace. However, many are finding genuine hope through upper cervical chiropractic care. How can this help with vertigo and how does it differ from general chiropractors that you may have already been to with disappointing results?
The top two bones in the spine (the C1 and C2 or atlas and axis) protect the sensitive area where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. A misalignment in this area can lead to many of the conditions noted above. How? Even a slight misalignment of these bones can affect the Eustachian tubes that are responsible for draining extra fluid away from the ears. One upper cervical chiropractor noted that this gradual process can take up to 15 years before symptoms surface. By then the accident is a distant memory and rarely connected to symptoms. However, a case study involving 300 Meniere’s patients who had suffered head or neck trauma in the past was a resounding success with 97% of the patients reporting an average of 90% improvement in symptoms.
What Makes Upper Cervical Chiropractic Different
Chiropractors specialize in aligning the bones of the body, but upper cervical chiropractors are even more specialized and focus on just the C1 and C2. We use diagnostic imaging to take precise measurements and detect misalignments that other medical professionals may miss or dismiss as being irrelevant to the problem. We then use extremely gentle adjustments to correct the issue precisely. If you are envisioning someone popping and twisting your spine, you’ll find upper cervical adjustments to be a pleasant and painless surprise.
If you are suffering from vertigo, especially if you have ever suffered a head or neck injury, contact an upper cervical practice in your area to schedule a consultation. You may be taking your first step down the road to natural relief from numerous health concerns.