Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It can cause a sensation of spinning or movement (referred to as vertigo), ringing in the ears, and problems with hearing. Meniere’s only affects one ear. Onset most frequently occurs between ages 40 to 50, although it can occur at any age. In the US, an estimate of 615,000 people have Meniere’s disease.
Between the years of 2010 to 2012, Dr. Jay Rubinstein and his associates were investigating a way to implant a cochlear device in patients with Meniere’s to help them with their balance issues. They used this investigational device on four patients with the intention of keeping vertigo at bay. The result? All 4 of them no longer had Meniere’s. While that sounds like good news, there’s a major downside. The surgery used to implant the device caused them all to lose their hearing in the affected ear (a result they were informed may happen).
This is similar to what happens to many Meniere’s patients who find no relief from medication. By opting for surgery, the affected ear is basically destroyed in order to stop the sensation of vertigo. People with only one ear working can learn to walk, drive, and maintain their balance. But, is there a better option than sacrificing the function of an ear?
Natural Care for Meniere’s Patients
Upper cervical chiropractors have had much success in helping patients with Meniere’s disease. Doctors see a connection between Meniere’s disease and a misalignment in the upper cervical spine, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae. These bones have the important job of protecting the brainstem. However, if they become misaligned due to a car accident, a trip and fall, or a blow to the head or neck, they can actually put stress on the brainstem and cause it to malfunction.
The brainstem is the communication highway between the brain and body. If the brainstem relays improper signals to the brain about the body’s location – Meniere’s can be the end result. Using a gentle method to realign the bones of the neck, upper cervical chiropractors can help communication to be properly re-established. This has provided symptomatic relief of Meniere’s for some, especially when it comes to vertigo. To learn more, schedule a consult with a practitioner near you.