Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) isn’t a commonly discussed condition. That’s why if you do a quick search on Google, you will only find a few relevant results. However, studies urge people with frequent vertigo attacks to look at this disorder as a possible trigger of their symptoms. Let’s look into how ankylosing spondylitis works and its connection with vertigo attacks. Furthermore, let’s also explore potential solutions, including taking medications and receiving a chiropractic atlas adjustment.
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis afflicts roughly 300,000 Americans, making it a relatively rare disorder. It causes several symptoms, including widespread joint inflammation and vertigo or spinning sensations. Studies have yet to uncover how it develops, though some theorize that it might be a disorder patients pass on through the HLA-B27 gene.
Notably, this disorder tends to develop hand in hand with vertigo-causing conditions like Meniere’s disease and BPPV. This is why it’s not surprising why a small case study found that patients with AS are more susceptible to experiencing vertigo attacks.
Ankylosing Spondylitis and Its Possible Connection with Vertigo Episodes
Healthline notes that researchers are yet to explain the connection between ankylosing spondylitis and vertigo attacks. That’s because there aren’t many studies done to investigate this matter. As a result, some researchers only base their theories on fundamental physiological principles, such as:
- Vertigo attacks can stem from autoimmune problems such as AS. A study notes that abnormal immune system responses can disrupt the balance in the inner ears.
- Autoimmune reactions can cause inflammation in the ears and affect the perception of balance or movement changes and sound stimuli.
- Vertigo episodes often develop among patients with autoimmune problems. However, misdiagnosis is quite common because the symptoms can sometimes present as a sign of nervous system dysfunction.
If you have AS and experience sudden bouts of spinning sensations, you should consider consulting an ENT, neurologist, or rheumatologist. This will help you know the best course of action or get referrals for procedures like a chiropractic atlas adjustment or explore treatments like corticosteroid therapy.
Other Causes of a Vertigo Attack
Because it might take years or decades before you find out whether AS and vertigo share a common mechanism, you might find it helpful to get acquainted with other conditions that set off a spinning sensation. Please read more about these below:
You might have heard about Meniere’s disease on social media because a few personalities have shared their experience with this condition. Essentially, this vertigo-causing disease develops because of an abnormal build-up of fluids in the inner ear chamber. This leads to vestibular nerve compression, which can eventually trigger dizzying spells and vertigo episodes.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Studies have found that BPPV is the country’s leading cause of spinning sensations. This condition primarily stems from the displacement of otoliths or tiny calcium crystals inside the inner ears. Notably, these crystals cause the brain to detect amplified head movements. This leads to disorienting attacks and other crippling symptoms like nystagmus, hearing loss, trouble speaking, and loss of consciousness.
Vestibular Schwannoma or acoustic neuroma affects up to 3000 American adults each year. Essentially, patients with this condition have benign tissue overgrowth in the ear. The pressure from that tissue can affect various inner ear organs, including the vestibulocochlear nerve. As a result, the vestibular system fails to function and detects false movements.
Vestibular Neuronitis or Labyrinthitis
Inner ear infections like labyrinthitis and vestibular neuronitis often trigger vertigo attacks. This is because they activate inflammatory responses that cause the vestibular system to malfunction. Thankfully, unlike the first three causes or triggers of vertigo that we shared above, many patients find it easier to manage inner ear infections. Additionally, the vertigo episodes often disappear as soon as the infection clears.
Cervical subluxation is one of the least apparent causes of vertigo attacks. That’s because not many people know that they have misaligned C1 and C2 bones. In most cases, this problem develops in people who hurt their head and neck due to whiplash injury, a sports accident, or a car collision. In addition, some have cervical subluxation because of repetitive motions, poor posture, and degenerative disc diseases. Thankfully, patients have an option to negate the effects of neck bone misalignments with a chiropractic atlas adjustment. This approach involves analyzing the degree of the postural imbalance and applying well-calculated neck bone adjustments using the hands, a chiropractic adjustment table, or a specialized tool.
Chiropractic Atlas Adjustment: The Answer to Recurring Vertigo Episodes
Upper cervical chiropractic care has gained significant traction in the healthcare community thanks to its promising approach to eliminating vertigo episodes. As mentioned above, it works incredibly well for people with cervical subluxation or C1 and C2 bone misalignments.
It uses a safe and straightforward approach to addressing postural imbalances that may be interfering with your brain’s ability to detect movements and maintain equilibrium. Studies note that it also helps with the following:
- Activating your body’s ability to self-heal from vertigo-causing problems such as BPPV, inner ear infection, and Meniere’s disease.
- Improving fluid drainage in the ear to reduce pressure in your vestibular system
- Ensuring your inner ear gets enough nourishment (oxygen, nutrients, etc.)
- Eliminating signal jams that might contribute to your spinning sensations
- Improving your gait to prevent accidents like tripping or slipping
If you haven’t explored upper cervical care yet, we recommend booking your consultation. This will help you determine if you have vertebral subluxation and how often you need to return for an adjustment.
Explore how a chiropractic atlas adjustment provides lasting vertigo relief by scheduling your trip to a nearby upper cervical chiropractic practice today!