What is Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness?

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness, atlas bone adjustments, PPPD

Hundreds to thousands of patients seek atlas bone adjustments each month. And notably, a small fraction calls for help because of persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD). Are you familiar with this condition? Do you know someone who has PPPD?

If PPPD sounds utterly foreign to you, you can get acquainted with it through our brief discussion below. Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you will better grasp PPPD and your best options to cope with the symptoms.

PPPD: A Quick Overview

PPPD is among the leading causes of non-spinning dizziness in middle-aged people. Most patients who have this condition notice worse symptoms when they move their heads or other body parts or get exposed to an environment with movement stimuli (concert halls, pubs, etc.). Some also experience their symptoms after looking or staring at a moving object. 

How Do Doctors Diagnose PPPD?

Doctors primarily diagnose PPPD based on the duration of the symptoms and the possible underlying causes. That’s because there isn’t a standard diagnostic test or technique to detect PPPD. 

Notably, PPPD distinguishes itself from other types of dizziness with its prolonged duration (up to three months) and the absence of an apparent origin or cause. It also comes with distinct triggers that mostly affect the vestibular organs.

What are the Common Triggers of Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness?

Several case studies have found that Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness often follows the onset of vestibular disorders. Additionally, some reported cases trace strong connections with traumatic brain injuries, vestibular disorders, migraines, and neurological conditions. Let’s take a closer look at these things below:


Some migraine attacks involve signs of vestibular dysfunction, such as vertigo attacks. Other episodes (about 25 percent) cause disorienting, dizzying spells. If you experience recurring attacks more than 15 times a month, you will likely develop PPPD. 

Vestibular Disorders

According to conservative estimates, about 69 million Americans have vestibular disorders like Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuronitis, and BPPV. Unfortunately, a significant number of people in this group develop PPPD. This is because the constant exposure to movement stimuli causes the brain cells to become hypersensitive and susceptible to dizziness. 

Neurological Conditions

Recurring vertigo attacks and increased risks for PPPD can also stem from several neurological conditions. A few examples of these include Parkinson’s Disease, seizures, and multiple sclerosis. 

Traumatic Injuries

Head and neck injuries like concussions and whiplash can lead to post-concussion syndrome. Unfortunately, this can also lead to the onset of PPPD because it can affect the cognitive and vestibular functions of the nervous system.

Besides post-concussion syndrome, a history of neck or head trauma can also lead to structural disparities in your cervical spine. This happens because the atlas and axis bones have unique shapes and designs. Unlike other vertebral bones, they also have increased flexibility. Because of these features, they become incredibly susceptible to subluxation or shifting. 

Once the topmost neck bones move a few millimeters away from their intended position, they can compress nearby tissues, impede nervous system function, impact fluid drainage, and compromise your spinal alignment.

  Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness, atlas bone adjustments, PPPD

A Closer Look at Vertigo, Dizziness and Cervical Spine Subluxation

Most people aren’t aware of the dangers posed by cervical subluxation or postural imbalances. Because many would immediately assume that it only affects how the body looks when walking, running, or sitting. In truth, body posture can influence many things that comprise your health and wellbeing. 

Let’s look at the common side effects of having misaligned atlas and axis bones to help you appreciate the value of getting an atlas bone adjustment.

Impaired Vestibular Function

The atlas or the bone underneath the skull also sits directly between your ears. This means even the slightest alignment changes, your atlas bone can impact some of your ear organs, such as the eustachian tubes. 

If you remember from your biology classes, the eustachian tubes facilitate fluid drainage in the ears. So, naturally, if they fail to function correctly, you will have increased pressure buildup from the excess fluid. This can impair vital vestibular organs such as the vestibulocochlear nerve.

Poor Brainstem Function

Besides the eustachian tubes, misaligned neck bone can also compress or irritate the brainstem – an organ that transmits loads of information to and from the brain. When this happens, you will likely suffer from far-reaching health problems including

  • Dizziness or vertigo 
  • Lack of motor control
  • Flushing
  • Numbness
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle tingling

Reduced Blood Flow to the Brain and Inner Ears

Atlas subluxation can also lead to poor blood flow to the brain and inner ear organs. When this happens, they fail to function correctly. They can also suffer from long-term damage, which can forever impede several functions like maintaining equilibrium and detecting head and body movements.

Get an Atlas Bone Adjustment to Lower Risks for Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness

Experiencing constant bouts of dizziness because of previous vertigo-causing problems can be unpleasant. Thankfully, you can manage your risks better with the help of an atlas bone adjustment.

A precise and well-thought-out atlas bone adjustment will help you address signal interferences in your nervous and vestibular system, improve fluid drainage, and ensure ample flow of oxygen and nutrients. Additionally, it might come in handy in lowering your risks for PPPD.  

What are Atlas Adjustments?

Atlas adjustments, also known as Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care, focus on correcting misalignments of the atlas vertebra. When this bone is out of its proper position, it can affect nerve signal transmissions and blood flow in the surrounding area, potentially causing or triggering vertigo symptoms. By gently realigning the atlas, a Cervical Chiropractor can help negate the effects of the subluxation and restore balance in your body.

How Many Atlas Adjustment Sessions Are Needed for Vertigo Relief?

As with any approach to healing the body, the number of atlas adjustments and consultation sessions needed for vertigo relief will vary from person to person. Several factors can influence the number of visits you may need to see results, and these include the following:

The Severity Of Your Problems

As we've established, Upper Cervical Care works by fixing postural imbalances in the atlas and axis bones. As a result, it's crucial to look into your history of neck and head injuries.

Ask yourself things like:

  • How bad was my whiplash injury from playing football?
  • Did I get myself checked after hitting my head from a slip-and-fall accident?
  • Has my neck pain improved a few weeks after my rear-end car collision injury?

Additionally, it would help if you also considered the severity of vertigo. Those with mild to moderate vertigo may need fewer sessions to experience relief. In contrast, if your vertigo episodes have affected you for several years, you may need subsequent adjustments after your initial sessions.

Bottomline is, you have to consult with your Upper Cervical doctor to know the best approach.

Underlying Cause

The underlying cause of vertigo is also an essential factor in determining the number of atlas adjustment sessions needed. If the vertigo is primarily caused by atlas misalignment, patients may experience relief more quickly than those with other contributing factors. For example, if inner ear issues or medications also contribute to vertigo, atlas adjustments alone may not provide complete relief, and additional approaches may be necessary.

Individual Response to Adjustments

Finally, each person's response to atlas adjustments will be unique. Some may find relief after just a few sessions, while others may require more visits to experience the same level of improvement. Working closely with a Board Certified Upper Cervical doctor is essential to monitor progress and adjust the plan as needed.

What to Expect During Atlas Adjustment Sessions

A typical Upper Cervical Care regimen starts by understanding your postural problem. This would include running imaging scans of the neck and conducting physical assessments like leg-length tests. Then, once your Cervical Chiropractor fully gauges your postural misalignments, you will know the critical approach to restoring balance in your body.

The adjustment itself is typically painless, and many patients report feeling an immediate improvement in their symptoms following the session. However, it's important to remember that each person's experience will differ, and it may take several sessions to see significant progress.

Talk to Your Upper Cervical Chiropractic Doctor to Know More

Atlas adjustments can be a promising approach for some individuals suffering from vertigo. If you're struggling with vertigo or PPPD, best call an Upper Cervical doctor to discuss whether atlas adjustments could suit you. The sooner you can fix the postural imbalance in your neck, the quicker you can retrain your spine and improve your vertigo symptoms. Find out if Upper Cervical Care applies to your situation and if you can use it to manage your PPPD symptoms better by talking to a neck chiropractor. Find a nearby upper cervical practice today!

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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.