Safety Tips for Motorbikers Prone to Vertigo Episodes

vertigo relief

Do you used to love the feeling the wind on your skin and seeing the vibrant colors of the scenery around you while you’re on your motorbike? Do you miss the adrenaline rush when you twist your wrist to speed up? Are you dying to get back on the road but feel anxious that your spinning sensations will get you into a serious accident? 

Some motorbike riders fall victim to vertigo-causing disorders because of the numerous head and neck trauma sustained during their trips. Other causes of vertigo while on the road, like the sun's intense heat and dehydration, can also contribute to vestibular issues. 

Sadly, many motorbike riders prone to spinning sensations stay off the road until they find a reliable and long-term source of vertigo relief

Are you stuck in the same - if not worst - predicament? Do you want to put an end to your vertigo episodes while riding so you can finally enjoy adrenaline-pumping travels? Read on to learn what causes vertigo and what tips you can use to regain your sense of balance. 

Vertigo While Riding a Motorbike

Vertigo affects the inner ear, causing you to lose your balance, feel dizzy or disoriented, and struggle to walk or stand upright without assistance. It can also affect your depth perception, making it difficult to judge distance. This can lead to accidents while driving because you may not realize how close you are getting to other vehicles on the road while attempting turns or switching lanes. In addition, vertigo can make it hard for motorcyclists like you to judge speed and acceleration, confusing you to think you’re traveling at a slower pace than you actually are when passing cars on their left side (or vice versa). Finally, inner ear organs failing to adjust each time you change your speed and direction can also cause you to lose your balance. 

How Does a Vertigo Attack Feel?

A popular but false belief among many is that vertigo is the same as dizziness. Unlike dizziness, instead of simply causing you to lose your balance, vertigo can trigger other issues like uncontrolled eye movements, vomiting, and nausea. Some folks note that their vertigo episodes also come with other debilitating symptoms like ear congestion, trouble speaking, sweating, and temporary hearing loss.

Doctors generally describe vertigo attacks into two separate classifications based on the sensation felt by a patient. These classifications are as follows:

  • Subjective Vertigo – This specific type of vertigo makes you feel like you’re moving even when you’re well-rested on a chair or in the corner of a room.
  • Objective Vertigo – This vertigo attack can make it seem like everything around you is moving.

Besides classifying vertigo according to what symptoms manifest in a patient, doctors further classify an attack based on the potential root cause. For example, if your attacks seem to originate from an abnormality of the vestibular system, you likely have a peripheral type of vertigo. On the other hand, if the problem arises from a central nervous system malfunction, you might have the central vertigo type.

Other Possible Triggers of a Vertigo Attack

Getting diagnosed by a physician or your neurologist is the best way to understand your vertigo attacks a bit more. This way, you can determine if the additional symptoms you experience connect with your existing vertigo symptoms. It also helps you resolve the leading cause of your problem and find long-term and sustainable relief options. Find out more about the link between conditions like Meniere’s, BPPV, ear infection, whiplash, and vertigo as you read on.

Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease affects the inner ear’s vestibular system. Besides vertigo episodes, it can trigger tinnitus or ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and ear congestion. Many studies connect the onset of Meniere’s to previous ear infections and abnormal fluid buildup in the ears.

Labyrinthitis

The labyrinth is one of the tiny bones tucked inside your inner ears. Sometimes, it can get infected with bacteria. When this happens, your labyrinth fails to perform its function – which is to send signals to your brain about your head’s movement or orientation. Patients diagnosed with labyrinthitis mainly report symptoms like vertigo episodes, hearing loss, vomiting, and nausea. The symptoms tend to go away on their own once the infection subsides.

Vestibular neuritis

Besides the labyrinth, the vestibular nerve is also at risk of getting infected by bacteria or viruses. If it gets inflamed, it fails to transmit signals on balance and motion to your brain. This messes up the flow of information, convincing you that you are in motion, even when you’re not. Similar to labyrinthitis, the symptoms go away only after you recover from the condition.

whiplash and vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Did you know that about 107 out of 100,000 individuals have BPPV? It’s a prevalent vestibular disorder that causes the brain to perceive false motions. It gets triggered when some of the calcium crystals inside the inner ear move to a place where they shouldn’t be. 

Multiple sclerosis

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reported that about 1 million Americans above 18 years old have multiple sclerosis (MS). It often triggers a variety of symptoms which include vertigo attacks and dizziness. Studies explain that lesions or damages to the spinal column serve as the link between vertigo and MS symptoms.

Whiplash injury

Whiplash injuries are quite common in the country. According to the latest statistics, about 3 million Americans get diagnosed with a whiplash injury every year. Unfortunately, most patients who suffered from a whiplash injury report vertigo as one of their main symptoms. Studies explain that whiplash and vertigo tend to go hand in hand because the neck bones shift and press onto the nerves or the brainstem. This disrupts signal transmission and confuses the brain.

Migraines

This is actually a much more common vertigo cause than it gets credit for. Thirty-nine million Americans get migraines. Estimates are that somewhere between 30-40% of those patients have vertigo as a symptom. Remember that you don’t have to get headaches to experience a migraine. Other common symptoms include aura, nausea, sensory sensitivities, and neck pain.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Vertigo is one of the top symptoms following a head injury. It may originate from the central nervous system. Another possibility is that the ear was affected by the injury, either by the impact or swelling resulting from the impact. When a person experiences whiplash with a head trauma, there is also a high probability that the upper vertebrae of the spine have been affected. The vertebrae may be putting pressure on the spinal cord and brainstem, hindering proper communication between the body’s systems that are essential for balance.

Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction

This happens when a patient’s vestibular function decreases in both ears. It is in a category of its own since most vestibular conditions only affect one ear. Vestibular problems with both ears can result in vertigo, balance issues, and even vision problems when the head is moving. These problems are noticeably worse in low-light situations since the body cannot use visual input to help with balance.

Cervicogenic Dizziness

Most of the time, doctors do not make the connection between neck pain and vertigo. Vertigo patients often complain of neck pain as well. Existence of neck pain and dizziness are cervicogenic dizziness. This is when vertigo or other vestibular problems resulted from issues of the neck, like an upper cervical misalignment. A misalignment like this can be the underlying cause of many vertigo conditions (like BPPV and Meniere’s disease).

Seizures

Seizures may occur along with migraines, in which case migraines are the more likely cause of vertigo. However, there is a rare condition called epileptic vertigo that results from temporal lobe damage.

Atlas Misalignment

Many of the health conditions and symptoms linked to vertigo can all go back to the same thing – an upper cervical misalignment. How can this be? Consider the effects of a subluxation in the top two bones of the neck.

Blood flow

The neck facilitates blood flow to the brain. Misalignments can affect blood flow and lead to issues like vertigo and specific causes of central vertigo like migraines.

Ear function

The atlas (C1) is located directly between the ears with just soft tissue in between. Therefore, when a misalignment causes changes to the soft tissue, this can lead to inhibited ear function. It can even cause a lesion to form on the eustachian tubes that can affect excess fluid drainage and cause conditions like Meniere’s disease.

Brainstem function

The communication between the spinal cord and the brain has to go through the brainstem. The atlas surrounds the brainstem, so even a slight subluxation can put pressure on this crucial component of the CNS, thereby resulting in various nervous system issues.

Tips for Safe Motorcycle Riding Despite Vertigo

If you are concerned with your safety each time you travel on your motorbike because of vertigo sensations, you can try to practice the following tips:  

  • Wear a helmet for the entire duration of your trip.
  • Wear standard motorbike riding gear, including gloves, boots, and protective eyewear.
  • Try having a travel buddy to get assistance when needed.
  • Get regular physical and mental checkups to ensure you are in good shape for motorcycle riding (and all other activities).
  • Learn as much as you can about your vertigo episodes, especially the root cause and triggers.  
  • Ask your doctor about any medications you’ve been taking to see if they might be causing your balance problems. You might need to switch to another medication or adjust your dosage.
  • Look into previously sustained injuries like whiplash and concussions and try seeking an upper cervical chiropractor.

vertigo relief

Best Vertigo Relief for Safer Driving

Upper cervical chiropractic care is a safe vertigo relief option for motorbike riders like you. This approach focuses on correcting postural imbalances that likely developed from whiplash, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. Such events can hurt the neck and cause the connective tissues to tear and fail to hold the atlas and axis bones in place.

As you might know, the atlas and axis bones sit directly under your head. When they slip out of place, your head will tilt sideways, putting pressure on the nerves, muscles, and other tissues along your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

In the long run, the rest of your spine will twist to keep your head upright. This compromises your posture and increases your risk for health problems like chronic vertigo attacks. Thankfully, you can help your body cope with all the abovementioned issues with upper cervical chiropractic adjustments. Upper cervical care helps restore the balance in your spinal column with gentle adjustments to the atlas and axis bones. Gradually, your topmost bones will return to their original alignment so you can remove the pressure on your brainstem, spinal cord, and brain.  

Find out if you have cervical spine misalignments so you can receive atlas bone adjustments and take back the life vertigo stole from you. It’s about time you get back on your motorbike and go on exciting adventures without worrying about constant bouts of vertigo and dizziness. Use our Find-a-Doctor tool to locate the nearest upper cervical chiropractic office in your neighborhood.

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