Dizziness and Vertigo: Why They Are Not The Same


Vertigo is a condition that is difficult to describe in words. There is often a misdiagnosis of the symptoms associated with vertigo. Being able to understand the differences between dizziness and vertigo can help in separating a vertigo attack from dizzy spells. Upper cervical care regularly deals with both vertigo and dizziness by giving relief for people who suffer from any of these. Not everybody who has vertigo experiences it as dizzy spells Also, not everyone with dizziness experiences vertigo. Most people can relate to having a sensation of spinning around as a kid, then stopping abruptly. This experience is a way to temporarily feel vertigo symptoms– a strong feeling of spinning around, but in fact, you are just standing still.

Comparison of Vertigo and Dizziness?

The words dizziness or feeling “dizzy” can be catch-all terms for various symptoms, which include:

  • Vertigo

It is a false feeling of spinning around or whirling of either you or your surroundings.

  • Feeling lightheaded

This sensation may be related to a sudden drop in blood pressure. It may also feel like you are about to faint.

  • Dizziness 

This sensation may be caused by breathing too quickly, such as hyperventilation or anxiety or panic attacks.

  • Unsteadiness or imbalance

It is a sensation of losing your equilibrium. In other words, this is a loss of balance that may occur suddenly, even when you are just standing still or also moving.

It is essential to be as specific as possible when describing your symptoms regarding dizziness or vertigo so that you receive the proper treatment specific to your symptoms. Also, to get the assurance that you are taking the appropriate care for your situation. 

When a person complains of dizziness, vertigo is only responsible for about half of the cases.

 Facts about Dizziness And Vertigo You Need to Know?

  • Vertigo and dizziness can be side-effects of some medications 

If you are experiencing bouts of vertigo or dizziness, check your medications for their listed side-effects such as loss of balance, vertigo, or dizziness. Then talk to your physician about the possibility of decreasing dosage or switching up your prescribed drugs.

  • Dehydration can make you feel dizzy

Not enough hydration can cause a decrease in blood pressure. Dehydration can be a contributing factor in your dizzy spells. Consume at least seven to eight cups of water every day.

  • Migraines sometimes cause vertigo

About 40% of people who have migraines also experience dizziness or vertigo attacks.

  • A problem in the inner ear causes vertigo

In some cases, the inner ear can be the reason for one of the most natural causes of vertigo – BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). Vertigo appears due to the calcium crystals in the inner ear that relocated into the wrong canals of the inner ear.  The inner ear contains nerves and sensors that send signals to the brain about your body's position and balance. The dislodged crystals can disrupt these signals, which leads to vertigo.

  • Being on a cruise or sleeping on a waterbed may cause dizziness

It's a fairly common experience to feel unsteady or dizzy on your feet when you are on a cruise or other similar boat ride. This condition is also known as Mal de Debarquement (MDD) – a rare disorder of the vestibular system. This condition, in some cases, may linger for months or even years.

Natural Vertigo Care 

There are some treatment options available that have been able to give consistent and lasting results for people with vertigo. Diuretics, low-sodium diets, medications, and other therapies may offer some level of success. However, the results are often just temporary. 

Understanding how the body maintains its sense of balance is crucial in caring for vertigo and dizziness. A complex system of the body achieves balance or equilibrium. This system includes the following:

  • The vision (Sight)
  • Proprioception (Touch)
  • The vestibular system (This system senses spatial orientation and motion, also responsible for equilibrium)

All three of these sources send signals and information to the brain over a complex network of nerves.  Then, the brain sends back the appropriate response signals to keep your balance in check. If there is impairment in any of these components, it can influence how well the body can preserve its sense of balance. If there is impairment or problems, then it will result in vertigo or other disorders that cause dizziness.

The nervous system is an essential part of maintaining our body’s balance properly. Therefore, it must be at its peak condition to avoid suffering from vertigo attacks. How can one keep the nervous system healthy?

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Takes Care of the Central Nervous System

Upper cervical chiropractic care, for many years, has already yielded success in caring for vertigo patients. Upper cervical chiropractors focus on a particular area of the upper cervical region of the spine. The atlas and axis, located in the top area of the spine, is a critical part that needs attention. Why?

These two vertebrae protect and cover the brainstem. If there is a misalignment of the upper cervical spine, there will be a hindrance to the proper processing of sensory information. Also, the upper cervical spine sits near the Eustachian tube and inner ear. This fact is a regularly overlooked root cause of vertigo that upper cervical doctors can correct and realign.

An atlas misalignment can occur due to many factors:

  • Sports-related neck and head trauma or injuries
  • Repetitive wear and tear
  • Whiplash event
  • Car accidents 
  • Accidental falls from stairs or ladders

The objective of upper cervical chiropractic care is to make a comprehensive analysis of the upper cervical spine to check if there are misalignments. Also, to ascertain what is contributing to your current condition. If a misalignment is detected, no matter how small it may be, it needs to be corrected and your vertebrae need realignment to restore the body's balance and overall well being.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic is precise and gentle. The intention is for these adjustments to hold in position for as long as possible. As a result, the body can heal properly and allow for the restoration of healthy brain-body communication. 

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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.