Vertigo is an extremely common issue, especially for those over the age of 40. However, today we are going to focus specifically intense and repeating episodes of vertigo. This is referred to as persistent perpetual perceptual dizziness or PPPD. What is PPPD? Who gets it? How is it caused? Is there any hope for sufferers? We’re about to provide you with everything you need to know about this debilitating form of vertigo, including a natural way to find relief.
What Is Persistent Perpetual Perceptual Dizziness?
The name PPPD itself helps us to understand what it is. Whereas an ordinary bout of vertigo lasts anywhere from a few minutes up to 24 hours and doesn’t occur again for some time, PPPD is a chronic recurring form of vertigo in which a person experiences vertigo on more days than they have vertigo free days. In other words, vertigo occurs 15 or more days per month.
What Causes the Onset of PPPD?
PPPD rarely begins out of the blue. Even if a person has had vertigo problems for a number of years preceding the onset of PPPD, revealing a propensity toward vestibular problems, PPPD usually has a direct cause as its genesis. However, the cause is not always the same. Here are several of the most common causes:
- Head or neck trauma – An accident or injury that results in a concussion, whiplash, or another head or neck injury can lead to chronic vertigo issues. If this symptom is accompanied by headaches and other symptoms, it may be a sign of post-concussion syndrome.
- A vestibular disorder – For example, a person may develop BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), Meniere’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. A stroke can also lead to persistent vertigo.
- Migraines – About 40% of migraine patients exhibit vestibular symptoms such as vertigo. This is referred to as a vestibular migraine. If these migraines are chronic in nature (occurring 15 or more days per month), then the patient may also have PPPD.
These are not the only reasons for the onset of PPPD, but they give you a good basis for understanding that the condition doesn’t just come out of the blue.
How PPPD Is Diagnosed?
It is important to seek a proper diagnosis of a health condition in order to rule out other problems that may cause similar symptoms. What are some of the things a doctor will look for when diagnosing a patient with PPPD?
First of all, the frequency of the bouts of vertigo is examined. Once again, a person must be having more days with vertigo than without. This timeframe should be a minimum of 3 months in order to diagnose someone with vertigo as a persistent condition. Severity may differ depending on the underlying cause of vertigo and even on what triggers a particular attack. However, the triggers of PPPD usually have something to do with head position and certain movements that set off episodes.
Who Gets Persistent Perpetual Perceptual Dizziness?
You are probably wondering why PPPD isn’t more common if it can occur after an accident or injury. After all, it doesn’t happen after every concussion or every whiplash injury. So what predisposes a person to recurring vertigo? Interestingly, it may be related to a propensity toward depression or anxiety. Consider the following statistics:
- About 60% of patients with PPPD also have some type of anxiety disorder
- Approximately 45% of PPPD patients are also dealing with clinical depression
- Only about 1 in 4 PPPD patients have neither anxiety nor depression
With that in mind, it makes sense to examine things such as central nervous system function when PPPD occurs. We’re about to introduce you to a natural form of care that is bringing hope to many. It is called upper cervical chiropractic.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic – Why It Helps Vertigo
Upper cervical chiropractic care is a specific type of chiropractic that focuses on the C1 and C2, the top two vertebrae of the spine located at the base of the skull. Precise measurements of the alignment of these bones are taken using diagnostic imaging to pinpoint the slightest of misalignments, and then gentle corrections are provided on an as-needed basis. This has relieved vertigo for many patients in case studies. Why?
When a concussion or whiplash injury occurs, the C1 and C2 can easily become misaligned. This can affect brainstem function by putting pressure on the area where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. If brainstem function is inhibited in any way, this can lead to vertigo, migraines, and many other symptoms.
Also, these bones help to facilitate blood flow to the brain by means of the vertebral foramen (tiny loops of bone through which the vertebral arteries pass). Even the slightest misalignment can thus affect this blood flow to the brain and central nervous system function.
Once the misalignment is corrected and these other issues are relieved, many patients see significant improvement in vertigo and other symptoms. If the frequency of vertigo is improved, PPPD may resolve, even if vertigo still occurs occasionally.
To learn more about the relationship between vertigo and misalignments of the upper cervical spine, contact a practitioner in your local area to schedule a consultation. If you suffer from vertigo, especially if it began or got worse following an accident or injury, you may be a gentle adjustment away from seeing the condition improve significantly or even resolve entirely.