Dizziness is a very common occurrence, and yet there is a ton of confusion surrounding it. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions about vertigo. The answer to the final question will address a form of natural care that is providing hope to many chronic dizziness sufferers.
Q: Is Dizziness the Same as Vertigo?
A: This question arises because most people use dizziness as a blanket term to describe vertigo, lightheadedness, balance problems, and other common symptoms. It is important to note, however, that vertigo specifically refers to a false sensation of movement such as the feeling that the room is spinning. If this is the symptom you are experiencing, it is better to call it vertigo than dizziness so that your doctor knows exactly what you are experiencing.
Q: What Does It Mean If I Only Get Dizzy When I Move My Head Too Fast?
A: If you are referring to vertigo, then this is likely benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). The most common form of vertigo, BPPV is sometimes associated with crystals inside the inner ear that become dislodged. If so, the Epley Maneuver may be able to provide some relief. However, BPPV seems to be a catch-all diagnosis for vertigo when doctors can’t find a specific cause for it.
Q: How Do I Know If the Problem Is in My Ear or Central Nervous System (CNS)?
A: Vertigo is referred to as peripheral vertigo when the issues stem from the vestibular system and central vertigo when it begins in the CNS. Other symptoms that accompany the dizziness are the primary way to make a diagnosis. For example, vertigo that is accompanied by tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear adds up to the hallmark signs of Meniere’s diseases, a form of peripheral vertigo. If the vertigo is accompanied by tremors, muscle cramping, fatigue, blurred vision, and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), then vertigo is likely central in nature.
Q: Is There a Cure for Dizziness?
A: The best way to care for dizziness depends on the underlying cause. While there are some medications that doctors prescribe for dizziness, they often come with unwanted side effects. For example, a diuretic may help reduce fluid in the ear. If this is a contributing factor in your dizziness, you may get some relief. However, these pills will cause you to use the bathroom more frequently and could potentially lead to dehydration. Other medications just treat symptoms. For example, many vertigo medications are just anti-nausea medications to keep a patient from vomiting during a severe attack.
In other cases, a doctor may recommend something like a change in diet. Again, this is usually in reference to the amount of fluid in the ear. A low salt diet reduces water retention in the body.
In severe cases, a doctor may recommend surgery. However, this should always be viewed as a last resort. Some surgeries to try and eliminate vertigo can leave the patient deaf in the ear the procedure is performed on.
Q: Can I Get Natural Relief from Dizziness?
A: In most cases, the answer is yes. We’ve already addressed a couple of natural forms of care that are meant for specific types of dizziness. For example, dietary changes and canalith repositioning such as the Epley Maneuver are natural. However, there is another form of care that is providing natural relief on a wide scale. We’d like to introduce you to the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic care.
What is upper cervical chiropractic care and what sets it apart from general chiropractic? Here are three things you should know:
- Upper cervical chiropractic is precise – Using modern diagnostic imaging technology, the practitioner will take precise measurements of the top two bones in your spine. A misalignment in this area, even a very slight one, can lead to recurring episodes of dizziness.
- Upper cervical chiropractic is gentle – Most practitioners use what is called a low-force correction. This makes upper cervical care safe for everyone from the very young to the very old. Most adjustments require minimal pressure, and some practitioners use an adjusting instrument instead of a manual adjustment.
- Upper cervical chiropractic is cost-effective – Since adjustments are precise and gentle, they can hold for a longer period of time. Not only does this give your body more time to heal but it also means that you can stretch your appointments further apart as your corrections hold longer. Fewer visits to the office mean less expensive care. That is something that anyone dealing with a chronic ailment can appreciate.
But what does the neck have to do with dizziness? First of all, the C1 (atlas) houses the brainstem and helps facilitate blood flow to the brain. It is easy to see how a misalignment in this region of the body could lead to cases of central vertigo.
However, the atlas is also in proximity to the ears. That means a misalignment could also be what is preventing the ears from draining properly. So even peripheral vertigo can lead back to the neck.
The effectiveness of this form of care can be seen in case studies involving patients who had vertigo and an upper cervical misalignment. One study saw 80% of patients completely relieved and the other 20% also saw significant improvement.
If you are suffering from dizziness, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, we urge you to seek out an upper cervical practitioner near you. An examination can reveal if you have a misalignment that could be the underlying cause of your symptoms.