The 3 Key Players in Vertigo and Vestibular Disruption


Going through a vertigo attack can be a scary event as you may feel incontrollable spinning and loss of balance. The room you’re in may seem to be rotating when it’s not. It can be life-threatening when vertigo occurs in dangerous situations or timing, like when you’re on a ladder or while you’re driving. 

Vertigo comes with various symptoms, and it’s important to be familiar with them. If you have Meniere’s disease, an underlying condition causing vertigo, these are the related signs you may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble with balance
  • Difficulty walking
  • Nystagmus (abnormal, rhythmic eye movements)

Vertigo is in no way predictable nor comfortable. It attacks out of the blue and obstructs a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. In addition, it may stop you from going to work, driving, accomplishing chores, or spending quality time with your family. Most vertigo patients have anxiety because they dread when the next episode of vertigo will happen. 

Causes of Vertigo Onset

Vestibular Migraines

Disruption in the vestibular system accounts for about 40% of migraine episodes. Vestibular migraines are different from other migraine types because vestibular migraines include symptoms such as the unexpected onset of vertigo, loss of balance, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, extreme light sensitivity, and ringing in the ears. 

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

We all have calcium crystal deposits in our ears, but if you have BPPV, it means that those deposits have moved to a part of your inner ear where they do not belong. The area is called the posterior semicircular canal. If those small crystals migrate there, they will cause issues for your equilibrium. It can eventually cause vertigo. 


This happens if there is a bacterial infection in the inner ear. As a result, the problem leads to issues with balance or vertigo. This likely occurs following an infection in the middle ear that aggravates and affects even the deep part of the ear. This can also result in a perforated eardrum.

Vestibular neuronitis

The vestibular nerve plays a crucial role in regulating your sense of balance. Irritation or inflammation of the vestibular nerve can bring about symptoms of vertigo. It may persist for a week or more. Moreover, other symptoms may accompany vertigo such as vomiting, nausea, and nystagmus. Nystagmus is a condition in which the eyes make bizarre and repetitive movements. 

Meniere's disease

Many patients who have this disorder suffer from various debilitating symptoms. Out of the blue, either vertigo may come about or several other symptoms such as a feeling of fullness in the inner ear, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, and even loss of hearing.

The Major Players in Vestibular Disruption

Vertigo has a connection with the inner ear and certain parts of the brain. They are all key players in your sense of balance, motion, and position. They are mainly the following:

  • Brainstem and cerebellum
  • The inner ear
  • Nerves that ties the inner ear to the brainstem and cerebellum

The Central Nervous System and Its Role

The central nervous system (CNS) has approximately 60% of all the essential parts that are necessary for your equilibrium. The CNS regulates the healing and restoration processes within the body. The nerves are the communication road between the body and the brain, making it possible for the body to function at its optimum. The nerves travel up to the brainstem, located within the two topmost vertebrae, where it then meets the brain.

The two uppermost vertebrae are the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). Proper alignment of these vertebrae is crucial for fully functioning communication within the body. Any issues could impede sensors in your limbs, the regular use of your vision, and your inner ear. In short, these are all critical factors in regulating your sense of balance. 

Effects of Spinal Misalignment

Misalignment in the spine can result in several possible outcomes, including interruption in the signals between the brain and body, further leading to vertigo, irregular equilibrium, loss of balance, and dizziness. People living with vertigo are all too familiar with these symptoms. Correction of the neck misalignment or assessment of the upper cervical vertebrae could result in relief of the symptoms and healing of the body. 

Vertigo Relief Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic

The good news is there is dedicated care for this area of the spine. Upper cervical chiropractors are continuously successful in resolving various vertigo symptoms with their unique and gentle therapy. One thing often reported among vertigo patients is their history of head or neck trauma. It can be due to several circumstances like a sports collision, car accident, or a simple trip and fall. Any of these can result in poorly aligned upper vertebrae. Therefore, even a slight adjustment of the C1 vertebra can bring far-reaching improvements and relief.  

Upper cervical chiropractors understand that a previous injury could bring about vertigo symptoms, so they get a detailed history from each patient, including past injuries, regardless of whether the injuries were mild or severe. They ask patients to undergo examinations and other procedures to correct and adjust even the smallest misalignment of the spine. Then, every adjustment is unique for every individual. Once the body responds to the correction, the healing of tissues and the restoration of the functions of the inner ear and brainstem follow. 

Many patients who have received upper cervical chiropractic care see long-lasting results and have restored their healthy life, free of anxiety about vertigo episodes. To learn more about this unique form of care, contact a practitioner near your city.  


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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.