What Causes BPPV and Other FAQs on Positional Vertigo

BPPV, upper cervical chiropractic

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is among the top reasons why patients see an upper cervical chiropractic practitioner. It triggers a spinning sensation every time a patient tilts his or her head. Even the slightest movements such as rolling to the other side of the bed or nodding can trigger an attack. 

So, how much do you know about BPPV? If you frequently experience vertigo attacks due to this condition, our list of FAQs on BPPV below might help shed light on this widespread yet poorly understood condition.   

#1. How many people have BPPV? 

BPPV accounts for about 8 percent of vertigo cases. It commonly occurs in adults, especially those in their late 50s. However, it can also affect kids or younger adults after a blow to the neck or head. According to a meta-analysis of 19 studies of BPPV, here are other commonly listed risk factors of the condition:

  • Being female
  • Lack of Vitamin D 
  • Experiencing frequent bouts of migraines
  • Has osteoporosis
  • Has high cholesterol levels

#2. What are the said causes of BPPV? 

The most popular theory on the onset of BPPV states that the disorienting symptoms may likely stem from the dislodged calcium crystals. Initially, these crystals sit inside the inner ears. However, due to blunt force or trauma, they can break off and migrate into other areas, disrupting the flow of information sent to the brain about your motion and position.    

#3. What are the Symptoms of BPPV? 

BPPV symptoms tend to vary from one patient to another. Some experience severe and debilitating symptoms, while others only manifest milder ones. Notably, most of the patients who get diagnosed with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo report vertigo attacks or spinning sensations. 

Such episodes can last for a few minutes to hours, depending on the patient's overall well-being. The attacks can also occur with additional symptoms like dizzying spells, vomiting, nausea, and nystagmus (abnormal eye jerking). 

If you show the symptoms we enumerated above, we recommend scheduling a visit to your doctor’s office. Your doctor may need to review your medical history and perform a quick physical examination to rule out other likely causes of your vertigo and other symptoms. 

If you get a positive diagnosis, you will likely get referred to an upper cervical chiropractic doctor or receive calcium crystal repositioning maneuvers. 

BPPV, upper cervical chiropractic

#4. How can you manage BPPV attacks?

There are a few instances when BPPV goes away without the help of medical intervention. However, in some cases, patients need to tap into remedies to shorten the recovery period and address the disabling effects of the condition. Some of the common BPPV management tactics you can explore include:

  • The Epley Maneuver – It’s a widely-used approach to combat BPPV symptoms. Doctors or physical therapists perform this technique in the clinic or office. Essentially, the procedure aims to restore the migrated calcium crystals to their original location. It involves simple movements such as tilting the head 45 degrees while lying on a pillow positioned under the shoulders. 
  • Stress Management – Sometimes, stress can aggravate BPPV. That’s why doctors and therapists highly recommend practicing stress management tactics like yoga breathing or doing mindfulness exercises. Practicing these simple techniques can lessen the impact of the BPPV symptoms.
  • Taking medication for BPPV symptoms – Some doctors prescribe vestibular suppressants to cope with BPPV symptoms like vertigo, vomiting, and nausea. These drugs can include benzodiazepines, anticholinergics, and anti-histamines. Make sure to talk to your physician first before taking any medication for your BPPV.

#5. Can Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Help?

Upper cervical chiropractic is among the natural remedies used by patients to manage their BPPV symptoms like vertigo. It’s proven effective in various case studies, including one published back in 2006. In this BPPV case study, 60 patients diagnosed with chronic vertigo attacks due to BPPV received upper cervical care for six months. After completing their procedure, 48 reported complete resolution of their symptoms. Meanwhile, the remaining 12 experienced less frequent and severe vertigo attacks.   

Several studies explain that upper cervical care shows immense potential in helping BPPV patients because of the vital link between neck alignment and vestibular disorders. Primarily, besides holding your head up, the neck encases the brainstem or the information superhighway of the nervous system.

Unfortunately, the flexible nature of the neck bones makes them susceptible to misalignment. And the misalignment, in turn, affects the function of your brainstem. Instead of relaying clear information on movement or position, the brainstem sends faulty signals into the brain. This can further add to the existing calcium crystal problems in the inner ears. 

Good thing, with upper cervical care, you can potentially fix the signal transmission problem. You can do this by restoring the natural alignment of the neck bones and relieving the undue pressure on the brainstem or nerves.


Work with a Local Upper Cervical Doctor Today!

If other remedies like the Epley Maneuver don’t provide you with results, you can try consulting with an upper cervical chiropractic doctor. This way, you can detect even the slightest neck bone misalignment due to physical trauma, accident, or even poor posture. After you receive your diagnosis, your upper cervical care doctor can customize the adjustments and determine the specific points that require immediate attention. 

It’s gentle, precise, and a natural procedure completed after a series of sessions. In no time, you can begin seeing vast improvements in your benign paroxysmal positional vertigo symptoms. 

Learn more about the other benefits of upper cervical chiropractic care today by visiting or calling a nearby upper cervical care clinic!

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.