Positional vertigo (short for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV), is the most common condition that has vertigo as a symptom. Vertigo is a false sensation of movement (often a spinning sensation) that can result in nausea, vomiting, and even falls. Let’s look at 7 facts about positional vertigo that you may find interesting. Then we will consider a natural way to find relief that is providing hope to many people who deal with this common condition.
#1 Good Morning – You Have Vertigo Today
Positional vertigo is the most common culprit when a person wakes up with vertigo first thing in the morning. So if you have ever had the room spinning from the second you opened your eyes, positional vertigo is a likely diagnosis.
#2 Isolated Cases of Vertigo Can Happen to Anyone
If you were to spin in a circle for a few seconds and then suddenly stop, that could cause vertigo for just about anyone. But if you have vertigo more than a few times per year with no discernable cause, BPPV is the most common option. However, there are also some inner ear and neurological conditions that can cause vertigo to recur, so it is best not to self-diagnose based on something you’ve read online.
#3 Positional Vertigo Can Cause Balance Problems
This is especially true if both ears are affected. But even if just one ear is dealing with positional vertigo, you’re at a higher risk for falls, so be sure to seek care for recurring vertigo before an injury takes place.
#4 There’s No Miracle Cure for Positional Vertigo
That having been said, some people go through canalith repositioning (i.e., the Epley Maneuver) and never have another episode. For the majority of people, however, fighting vertigo is a long-term battle. It is not as simple as taking a pill and seeing symptoms go away.
#5 Don’t Let Long-Term Vertigo Go Untreated
The other side of the issue is that many people feel that since there is no cure for vertigo, there is no point in seeing a medical professional. There are definitely a variety of therapies that can be of assistance. Some may help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. For some patients, vertigo may resolve completely. So don’t resign yourself to a lifetime of spinning just because finding the right form of care can take a little while.
#6 Positional Vertigo Is Related to the Function of the Inner Ear
This means anything that affects the inner ear, the fluid levels in the ear, and the crystals that detect movement in the inner ear can all lead to vertigo and balance problems. Sometimes, illnesses that cause fluid buildup or inflammation in the inner ear and the vestibular nerve that carries signals from the ear to the brain can lead to vertigo well after the illness has cleared up.
#7 Positional Vertigo Often Occurs Following Accidents
Did you see the onset of vertigo following a car accident, a sports injury or some other type of trauma? This is common and may help point to the underlying cause of vertigo. It has been noted that many patients who begin to experience vertigo after an accident or injury are suffering from an upper cervical misalignment. What does this misalignment involve? How does this lead to a potential means of care for vertigo that is natural and safe?
Upper Cervical Misalignments and Vertigo
When the top bone of the neck, the atlas, is out of alignment, ongoing problems with vertigo can result. Why is this the case? Consider three reasons:
- The atlas protects the brainstem – Since the brainstem plays a key role in sending messages throughout the body, any pressure placed on the atlas can throw off this vital line of communication. The slightest misalignment of the atlas (C1) can put pressure on the very part of the central nervous system that it is intended to protect.
- The atlas helps facilitate blood flow to the brain – The atlas along with the rest of the cervical vertebrae have tiny loops of bone called vertebral foramen through which the vertebral arteries pass when delivering oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Even a tiny misalignment can interfere with the proper blood flow and lead to malfunctions in the CNS. This is another possible cause of vertigo.
- The atlas is in close proximity to the ears – You may not realize just how close this top bone in your spine is to the ears. Even a slight misalignment can, therefore, affect inner ear function. One problem is a lesion on the Eustachian tube that can develop over several years of time following a misalignment. This can result in fluid being unable to drain from the inner ear properly. Ultimately, a person may begin to experience vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and other symptoms as a result.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help
Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the atlas. They use diagnostic imaging to spot the tiniest of misalignments and use these precise measurements to provide specific and gentle adjustments. For many vertigo patients, such adjusts have led to less severe or frequent vertigo bouts, and some have even seen the problem resolve entirely.
If you would like to learn more about upper cervical chiropractic, especially if you are dealing with vertigo that began in the months or years following an accident or injury, contact a practitioner in your area to schedule a consultation today.