If you suffer from chronic vertigo, you’re probably tired of trying various medications and hearing that there is nothing else you can do but learn to live with it. That fact is that vertigo disease is a misnomer. Vertigo never occurs on its own. It’s just a symptom of whatever underlying issue is causing it. For that reason, we want to help you discover some alternative ways to combat vertigo. We’re especially interested in getting to the root of the matter and correcting the underlying issue rather than the symptom.
#1 Canalith Repositioning
Did you know that the inside of your ear contains small crystals made from calcium carbonate? These crystals play a vital role in how your body maintains its balance. But what happens if one of these crystals (called canaliths) gets out of place? It suddenly becomes difficult for the body to know where it is in relation to your surroundings. Vertigo can occur.
Canalith repositioning has been developed to correct this very specific underlying cause of vertigo. There are numerous methods that have been developed to get the crystals back into the right canal. One doctor even came up with a particular way of doing a somersault. If that sounds like too much work to you, you will probably be more interested in the Epley maneuver, the most common method of canalith repositioning. An informed doctor or chiropractor should be able to help you through the maneuver and even provide you with a home version you can do yourself if the problem comes back.
#2 Ginger Tea
Ginger is widely known for having health benefits. Researchers conducted a study involving ginger tea and vertigo. The result was that the tea was able to combat vertigo significantly better than a placebo. So what does that mean for you? Ginger tea may be an inexpensive way to try and chase vertigo away. Drink two cups daily and see if vertigo improves. If the taste is too strong for you (real ginger is pretty spicy) you can add a spoon of honey.
#3 Fruits and Veggies Rich in Vitamin C
A Japanese study showed that increasing the amount of vitamin C in a person’s diet can lead to fewer bouts of vertigo. Why is this the case? One possible reason is that vitamin C is associated with fighting head colds. Virus such as a cold or the flu can lead to inflammation of the inner ear or even the vestibular nerve (the one that sends information from the ear to the brain). This inflammation can cause vertigo. So just staying healthier can lead to fewer vertigo occurrences.
#4 Dietary Changes
There are certain foods and additives that are related to vertigo and Meniere’s disease (a vestibular condition that has vertigo as one of the 4 primary symptoms). Sodium is the big one. Since sodium traps fluids in the body, it could potentially lead to excess fluid in the inner ear, especially if something is causing the ear not to drain properly. Thus, a low sodium diet is a major method of caring for Meniere’s patients in particular. Certain foods may also be migraine triggers, and vertigo is a fairly common migraine symptom (about 40% of patients according to some studies).
#5 Get a New Pillow
Many cases of vertigo stem from the neck. This is referred to as cervicogenic dizziness. Something as simple as changing your pillow or your sleep position may make a huge difference. If you sleep on your back, use a softer pillow. If you sleep on your side, use a firmer pillow so your neck is not slanted toward the bed all night. Either way, be sure not to prop yourself up too high. Stomach sleepers are in the most danger and should try a new sleep position.
#6 Manage Stress
Stress may not be the underlying cause of your vertigo, but it could certainly be a trigger. Stress can lead to migraines or a flare-up of other conditions that cause vertigo. Whether you take up a hobby, get a massage, or head to the gym, it is important to find a healthy way to deal with stress (especially since negative ways like smoking or consuming alcohol can actually make vertigo worse).
#7 Drink More Water
Many bouts of vertigo are just your body’s way of letting you know you are getting dehydrated. Watch your water intake for a week to see if you are getting at least half a gallon (and preferably three-quarters of a gallon) daily.
#8 Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
This is a subspecialty of chiropractic that very few people have heard of, but it is finding great success in helping patients in case studies to find relief from vertigo. This is because the slightest misalignment of the atlas (top bone in the neck) can affect brainstem function, blood flow to the head, and even eustachian tube function (the tube that allows the ears to drain properly).
Upper cervical chiropractic involves very precise measurements of even the slightest atlas misalignment using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. Low force corrections are extremely gentle (none of the popping and twisting you may usually associate with chiropractic) and long-lasting. This gives the body more time to heal and can provide significant relief from symptoms such as vertigo.
If you suffer from chronic bouts of vertigo, especially if you have a history of head or neck injuries, contact an upper cervical chiropractor today. You may have just found a natural way to beat vertigo for good.