Vertigo is defined as the false sensation of spinning. Even though you are still, it may feel as if you’re moving or that the environment around you is spinning. Vertigo is not a diagnosis on its own. Rather, it’s a symptom of what can be many other underlying health conditions or disorders that most commonly involve the vestibular system and your brain’s perception of balance. Vertigo can range from a mild, infrequent annoyance to a life-altering and debilitating problem.
Treatment options for vertigo can vary greatly, particularly based on what is causing the problem. Common medications include steroids, antibiotics, diuretics, anti-nausea drugs, and medications to help deal with associated depression and anxiety. Other therapies are available as well, including physical therapy and vestibular rehabilitation. What some vertigo sufferers may not know is that there are natural means of caring for and coping with vertigo that have proven to be extremely beneficial.
5 Go-To Natural Vertigo Care Options
#1: Head maneuvers
If you’ve been searching for natural, non-invasive ways to cope with vertigo, chances are you’ve stumbled upon head maneuvers, sometimes referred to as a canalith repositioning procedure. There are several different varieties with Epley’s being the most widely known. The Epley maneuver has shown success with treating BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), which occurs when small calcium crystals become loose and travel into a part of the inner ear where they disturb normal fluid movement. Though the Epley maneuver may be done at home, most patients will consult with their doctor prior to attempting it since it’s important to know why your vertigo is occurring and which ear is affected. The goal of head maneuvers is to encourage the loose calcium crystals to reposition themselves using a series of head positions that will cause them to move.
#2: Eat well and stay hydrated
Looking at your diet to reduce inflammation and increase hydration can be of great benefit to vertigo sufferers. Anti-inflammatory foods can help keep blood sugar levels stable and protect you from dehydration.
- Eat your vegetables, especially dark leafy greens which are high in potassium
- Use healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds (I.e. flax and chia), wild-caught fish, and extra virgin olive oil
- Eat fresh fruits, particularly berries and bananas
- Choose lean proteins such as cage-free eggs and grass-fed meats
- Drink enough water each day – even mild levels of dehydration can trigger changes in blood pressure that can leave you feeling dizzy and off-balance
- Limit your intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
- Try adding apple cider vinegar, ginger root, and honey to your diet
#3: Learn to manage your stress
When you’re stressed out, you are put at an increased risk of experiencing a vertigo episode. The stress and anxiety associated with living with vertigo can become a vicious cycle – stress can trigger vertigo, and a vertigo episode can magnify anxiety and worry about when the next attack might occur. Even though it’s impossible to eliminate all sources of stress, learning to manage it better with different practices can help to reduce vertigo symptoms. Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, or tai chi are great ways to learn to re-center yourself and deal with the inevitable stressors that come your way.
#4: Exercise consistently
A daily routine that includes physical activity and exercise has been shown to be of benefit to vertigo sufferers. While the type of exercise and the level of intensity will vary based on individual needs, safe exercise that will minimize the risk of dizziness may include walking (outside or on a treadmill), weight training, tai chi, yoga, riding a stationary bicycle, or using an elliptical machine. Exercise is not only good for your body, but it is also beneficial in reducing the anxiety and stress that typically goes hand in hand with vertigo-causing health conditions.
#5: Have your neck checked
Research has shown a connection between a history of head or neck injury and the subsequent development of vertigo. A big part of the reasoning behind this is that the vertebra that sits at the junction between the head and neck, the atlas, is vulnerable to misaligning and can interfere with the way your central nervous system and vestibular system communicate with each other. The end result, even many years later, can be ongoing vertigo attacks.
Vertigo and the Junction Between the Head and Neck
An upper cervical misalignment can wreak havoc on the body’s ability to accurately sense its position with respect to its surroundings. It may seem that the environment around you is spinning or your body may feel as if it’s moving even though you’re still. Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the uppermost bones in the spine which are situated right at the base of the skull. The C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) vertebrae are referred to as the upper cervical spine, and this is where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. This is a vital junction in the central nervous system (CNS), and proper CNS function relies on the normal positioning of these two bones.
Many vertigo sufferers have reported natural, lasting relief as a result of upper cervical chiropractic care. This subspecialty of chiropractic care is known for its precise, gentle adjustments that are designed to hold in place for longer. The longer normal alignment is maintained, the more efficiently your body can heal naturally, without the need for medications to suppress symptoms. If you’ve been living with a condition that has you living on the edge of when your next vertigo attack might strike, then take a few moments to locate an upper cervical chiropractor near you and schedule a consultation. The information you will find might be the key you’ve been looking for in order to find sustainable vertigo relief.