How Peripheral Vertigo Relates to the Neck

Peripheral vertigo in relation to the neck

Peripheral vertigo is one of the two main categories of conditions that cause vertigo, a false sensation of movement. This more common category indicates that the underlying vertigo cause has something to do with the ear. For example, some cases are due to the dislodging of the crystals in the inner ear from the proper canal. In turn, this produces inaccurate messages regarding where the body is in relation to its surroundings.

Let us consider four of the primary conditions that are considered peripheral vertigo causes. Then we will look at a natural way to resolve vertigo by examining a connection between the ears and the neck.  

Peripheral Vertigo Diseases

These several conditions may be the underlying causes of peripheral vertigo. All these conditions originate in the neck.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Usually shortened the BPPV or positional vertigo, this is the most common diagnosis for vertigo patients. It is the reason why peripheral vertigo is the more common category of vertigo diseases. Interestingly, only about half of BPPV patients actually know what causes positional vertigo. The rest of the cases are idiopathic, meaning that the actual underlying cause is unknown. One possibility is upper cervical misalignments. This is because the atlas (top bone in the neck) is right in between the ears. Therefore, it can affect its proper function.

Meniere’s Disease

While rather uncommon, this vestibular condition produces not only vertigo but a host of other discernable symptoms. Some of these are hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear. The reason this condition is peripheral in nature is that many professionals believe it is the result of an overabundance of fluid in the ear (endolymphatic hydrops). While this often exists, the cause of the fluid issue needs to be addressed. In some case studies, correcting an upper cervical misalignment has allowed the ear to drain properly and greatly reduced the frequency and severity of vertigo and other symptoms.


This condition involves inflammation that occurs in the labyrinth or inner ear. It may happen in the aftermath of a virus such as a cold or flu bug, especially if the ears are not draining properly. Therefore, this fits squarely in the framework of peripheral vertigo, although correcting a cervical issue that affects the drainage of the ears could still be beneficial.

Vestibular Neuronitis

This is a similar condition to labyrinthitis, but they are not the exact same thing. While the cause is still usually a cold or flu virus, in this case, it is the vestibular nerve that becomes inflamed. Since the vestibular or eighth cranial nerve carries messages to the brain about balance and position, this definitely skirts the line between peripheral and central (central nervous system causes of vertigo). However, because the vestibular nerve is attached to the ear, it retains the status of being a cause of peripheral vertigo.

The Link Between Vertigo and the Cervical Spine (Neck Bones)

Clearly, there is a link between these peripheral cause of vertigo and the neck, but why is this the case? First of all, there is the proximity of the atlas (top bone in the neck) to the ears. Because the atlas balances the entire head, the structures of the body move to compensate for even the slightest misalignment. This can easily affect the eustachian tubes which are tiny tubes that allow excess fluid to drain off of the ears. A misalignment may be in place for a decade or more, causing these changes under the radar and leading to long-term issues with the ears. It just makes sense to check for a misalignment if you are having issues with vertigo.

You also have to consider how often the real cause of vertigo is unknown. 50% of cases being idiopathic is a conservative estimate. Most people never find out what the underlying issue actually is. Idiopathic BBPV is a diagnosis but not a cause.

Natural Help for Peripheral Vertigo Sufferers

If you are experiencing the effects of a peripheral vertigo, the connection between the ears and the neck should come as good news. This gives you an additional option for seeking natural relief. Upper cervical chiropractic offers a safe and gentle way to correct atlas misalignments. How does it work?

Upper cervical misalignments are measured precisely using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. These measurements are used to customize an adjustment to each patient’s needs. The adjustments are gentle; there is no twisting or popping of the spine as you may be used to in general chiropractic. That makes this subspecialty safe for those of all ages as well as health levels.

If you are suffering from vertigo on a recurring basis, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, this may be the natural therapy that you have been searching for. The first step is to discover if an atlas misalignment exists and that means contacting an upper cervical practitioner in your area. You can use this website to search for our preferred practitioners in your area. A no-obligation consultation may just set you on the path to be overall health and well-being, so act today to take control of your health.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Featured Articles


Montel Williams
Montel Williams

TV show host Montel Williams describes how specific chiropractic care has helped his body.

NBC's The Doctors

The TV show "The Doctors" showcased Upper Cervical Care.

CBS News/Migraine Relief

CBS News highlighted the alleviation of Migraines and Headaches.

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.