Vertigo is a specific form of dizziness that involves feelings of motions such as spinning, tilting, or swaying. The patient may feel like he or she is moving, or it may seem to be the room that is moving. There is a wide range of conditions that can cause vertigo. It is therefore very common. We’re going to discuss 7 of the most common conditions that cause vertigo. Then we will take a closer look at a natural form of care that has been providing hope for many.
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Usually shortened either to BPPV of positional vertigo, this refers to vertigo which is related to movements of the head. An underlying issue may involve calcium crystals called canaliths that are located in the inner ear. While vertigo may only last a few seconds after the wrong head movement, at other times it may last for minutes. The main issue is that you may not be able to prevent the particular head movements that lead to vertigo and falls can result if vertigo strikes suddenly or when you are already off balance. For example, many elderly persons find that positional vertigo is triggered by bending over, making picking something up off the floor a potentially deadly activity.
While this vestibular condition only affects about 0.2% of the population, tens of thousands of cases are diagnosed each year in the US alone. Why is Meniere’s on the rise? Some believe it is related to undiagnosed whiplash and other head and neck trauma. Regardless of the initial cause, Meniere’s disease is known for presenting with serious vertigo bouts that last anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours. The good news is that vertigo seems to happen less frequently as the condition advances. The bad news is that hearing loss and other symptoms like tinnitus (ringing in the ears) seem to increase. In fact, while this condition is usually only experienced in one ear, patients who don’t seek care can sometimes find that it starts up in the other ear as well.
The ears send signals back and forth to the brain by means of the vestibular nerve. When a person is sick with a virus (i.e., a head cold or the flu), this nerve can become inflamed. Sometimes the inflammation can last for several days after the person is feeling better. As long as the nerve is inflamed, vertigo can strike.
We wanted to address this immediately following vestibular neuritis because even some major online medical sites confuse these two conditions. They are similar and have similar symptoms and causes. However, while vestibular neuritis is due to inflammation of the vestibular nerve, labyrinthitis stem from inflammation of the inner ear (also called the labyrinth). Similar viruses can cause the problem, and it usually resolves within a few days after the illness resolves.
It may seem like an easy fix to just quit the medication that is causing your vertigo, but it is rarely that simple with the types of medications that cause vertigo. For example, blood pressure medication is one common culprit. Since high blood pressure is often more dangerous than a small risk of falling, the doctor is unlikely to recommend stopping your medication over something like vertigo. However, your physician may be able to adjust the amount of a medication you take, or which brand, in order to address the vertigo issue. Other medications that are often related vertigo are antidepressants and antianxiety drugs. Once again, you will want to address the problem with your physician to determine if medication amounts or brands should be adjusted.
Vestibular migraines refer to any migraine that presents with vestibular symptoms such as vertigo. Since this makes up about 40% of cases, migraines are one of the biggest causes of vertigo. Don’t write off migraines just because you don’t get a headache. Headaches are only a migraine symptom in 85-90% of cases. Migraines are a neurological condition and one of the most common causes of central vertigo (vertigo that has an underlying cause in the central nervous system rather than the ear).
From concussion to whiplash, the onset of vertigo often begins in the wake of a traumatic injury. However, since symptoms may follow months or even years after an injury, a full patient history is an important part of getting the proper diagnosis for the underlying cause of vertigo.
If you suffer from vertigo, especially if you have a history of head or neck injury, we want to recommend that you look into upper cervical chiropractic, a chiropractic subspecialty that focuses on the top two bones of the spine. This precise and gentle form of care has provided long-lasting benefits for many patients in case studies. In fact, in one case study of 60 individuals, 80% saw their vertigo completely stop. Interestingly, 56 of the 60 patients could remember a traumatic injury that may have caused the upper cervical misalignment.
Upper cervical chiropractic care also helps with many of the other causes of vertigo noted above because a C1 or C2 misalignment can be at the root of conditions such as migraines or even Meniere’s disease. To learn more, schedule a consultation with a practitioner in your area.
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.