Central vertigo is a type of vertigo that develops due to a problem in the central nervous system. The CNS is responsible for the processing of the body’s balance and spatial orientation. When central vertigo occurs, the body may be receiving the correct sensory input but failing to translate it accurately. This results in the false sensation of movement or spinning.
Unlike its counterpart, peripheral vertigo, it is less common. This type of condition often hits without warning and may occur for long periods. It brings on more severe attacks than peripheral vertigo, leaving a patient unable to walk or stand without support.
Some of the symptoms of central vertigo are:
- Spinning sensation
- Uncontrollable eye movement
- Trouble Swallowing
- Hearing problems (although rarely)
What Causes Central Vertigo?
Central vertigo can stem from a disease or injury to the brain. Besides these, other potential causes of central vertigo are the following:
1. Head injuries
Post-concussion syndrome has the potential to bring on vertigo. Even if you did not endure a concussion, vertigo could come about in the weeks or months following a head or neck injury.
2. Medication side-effect
Some medications include vertigo as one of their side effects. A few examples are blood pressure medications, antidepressants, sedatives, contraceptives, anti-inflammatories and anticonvulsants.
3. Brainstem trauma
Different parts of the central nervous system work together to maintain the body’s balance and spatial orientation. However, everything travels through the brainstem. This makes the brainstem a very crucial spot to examine, especially if the neck or head has endured trauma.
4. Vestibular migraines
According to NIDCD, vertigo and dizziness are common complaints in about 40% of Americans. Vestibular migraines are also called migraine-associated vertigo, migrainous vertigo, or migraine-associated dizziness.
Whether benign or malignant, a tumor can cause central vertigo in people who have it. Any tumor that afflicts the function of the central nervous system can result in vertigo. The most crucial parts are the vestibulocochlear nerve and the brainstem.
6. Multiple sclerosis
This disorder of the central nervous system happens when the body begins destroying the myelin sheath that covers nerve tissue. As a result, scar tissue develops, which impairs the nervous system function. Various neurological symptoms may occur and get worse over time, vertigo being one of the first signs.
A stroke has two types — hemorrhagic and ischemic. Hemorrhagic stroke is due to abnormal bleeding on the brain, while ischemic stroke happens from a lack of oxygen to brain tissue. Vertigo is one of the first symptoms to occur during a stroke. Other stroke symptoms are impaired speech and facial drooping. “Mini” strokes or transient ischemic attacks may also occur. If a patient experience these, emergency care is an immediate necessity.
8. Lesion of the vestibular nerve
The cranial nerve VIII transmits information about a person’s movement and position into the brain. If a lesion forms on this nerve, it can affect the messages that the brain receives regarding your location and things around you.
9. Vascular diseases
Many conditions can affect blood flow negatively. Any of these disorders can lead to central vertigo. These include:
- Hypertension – also called high blood pressure. It is the constant elevation of the blood pressure in the arteries.
- Aneurysm – a weakening in the lining of an artery wall. This causes bulging or ballooning of the artery. Once it leaks or ruptures, a stroke may happen.
- Atherosclerosis – a condition wherein plaque grows inside the arteries. Over time, it narrows or hardens the arteries.
- Embolism – the lodging of an embolus (foreign body such as blood clot or air bubble) inside a blood vessel.
Care Options for Central Vertigo
The root cause of central vertigo determines the right care option for it. If it is due to migraines, medication (such as triptans and antiseizure drugs) and stress reduction would help.
For central vertigo that is due to health conditions, including some tumors and multiple sclerosis, symptoms management is the usual care for them. This may include the taking of anti-nausea pills and drugs that reduce dizziness and motion sickness.
Central Vertigo Care Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Regardless of the type of vertigo you have, there is one natural care that has aided many patients naturally get rid of their vertigo symptoms—upper cervical chiropractic.
What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Upper cervical chiropractic is a niche within the chiropractic alternative medicine that focuses on the atlas (C1), the top bone in the spine. The atlas is the protector of the brainstem, a part that plays a critical role in the development of central vertigo. When the atlas misaligns even by the slightest degree, it may cause pressure on the brainstem. As a result, it may distort the messages regarding spatial orientation and balance. Furthermore, an atlas misalignment may affect the blood circulation to the brain. This can also change the managing of information coming from the body’s sensory organs.
Upper cervical chiropractors utilize x rays and diagnostic imaging to measure precisely the degree of atlas misalignments. Then, they apply customized adjustments to each patient. This can fix the root problems that cause misalignment. Some case studies show that about 80% of patients experience complete resolution of their vertigo following upper cervical chiropractic care.
Contact an upper cervical chiropractic doctor in your area to learn more about this fascinating form of care. If you have central vertigo, especially if you have endured a head injury in the past, this may be the relief option for you.