When vertigo recurs and crops up when you least expect it, this symptom of numerous health conditions can have a profound effect on the quality of your life. How you can you stop the world from spinning out of control and put your foot down against vertigo? We will consider a natural therapy that is providing hope for many. But first, let’s discuss some of the basics that you need to know if you are battling vertigo.
Everything You Need to Know About Vertigo
Without dwelling on the negative for too long, it is important to understand the health problem you are dealing with. Having that in mind, here are some of the most important things to understand if you are combating vertigo.
- If your doctor can’t tell you why it is happening, you’re not alone – While there are many underlying conditions and syndromes that can cause vertigo, only about half of patients ever find out why they are dealing with this false sensation of movement. Many patients are diagnosed with BPPV (positional vertigo), but the majority of these diagnoses are a catch-all when the underlying condition is unknown.
- Vertigo isn’t always a spinning feeling – While a spinning sensation is common, and this is the false sense of movement that most people associate with vertigo, it can also be related to a tilting or swaying feeling. For example, when you get off a boat and can still feel the rocking of the ocean, that is vertigo.
- Migraines are one of the more common causes of vertigo – Tens of millions of people get migraines in the US alone, and as much as 40% experience vertigo as a symptom. This means that millions of cases of vertigo can be blamed on migraines. Watch out for silent migraines, as these can include symptoms like vertigo but without the headache phase.
- If you have been sick recently, your vertigo may be related – A head cold or the flu can lead to inflammation that causes vertigo. In each case, the inflammation may occur in one of the two places. If the inflammation occurs in the inner ear, this is called labyrinthitis. If the inflammation occurs in the vestibular nerve, the condition is called vestibular neuritis. In both cases, the swelling should go down within a week or two of the end of the condition, and vertigo should cease at that point. If your bouts of vertigo continue for more than two weeks after the virus has passed, you may need additional medical attention.
- Know the symptoms of Meniere’s disease – Vertigo is very common with up to 40% of people dealing with it at some point in life. Meniere’s is rare and only affects about 0.2% of people. But it is still important to know the symptoms, so you can seek additional care if your vertigo is related to this syndrome. Meniere’s is characterized by moderate to severe bouts of vertigo that last anywhere from 20 minutes to all day long. Additional symptoms include tinnitus (a ringing, buzzing, or rushing sound in the ear), partial hearing loss that grows worse as the disease progresses, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear (the condition is usually just on one side). Meniere’s research has revealed a link to an upper cervical misalignment. This, in turn, helps to make a case for checking if upper cervical misalignments exist for any vertigo patient.
These are just some of the important things to know about if you get vertigo on a regular basis. However, one thing that really needs to be addressed is the connection between the upper cervical spine and vertigo.
The Connection Between the Neck and Vertigo
The top two bones in the neck, the atlas and axis, can have a profound effect on the ears as well as the central nervous system. As a result, a misalignment in this sensitive area of the body can be responsible for many different underlying causes of vertigo. Here are a few brief examples:
- The cervical spine facilitates blood flow to the head means of the vertebral foramen, tiny loops of bone that are only found on these seven vertebrae. Any misalignments in the neck can affect blood flow to the brain and the ears.
- The atlas surrounds and protects the brainstem. However, it can also inhibit brainstem function if not properly aligned. This can lead to many of the causes of central vertigo such as migraines.
- The atlas is located directly between the ears and in proximity to the Eustachian tubes. If it is out of alignment, Eustachian tube function can be inhibited. This is a big deal when it comes to vertigo because these tubes carry excess fluid away from the inner ear. In fact, there has been some research that links an atlas misalignment to the development of a lesion on the eustachian tube that, in turn, causes Meniere’s disease symptoms.
If you are suffering from vertigo, a misalignment at the base of your skull may be the underlying problem. The only way to know for sure is to visit an upper cervical chiropractor. Modern diagnostic imagining techniques can be used to pinpoint misalignments down to hundredths of a degree. Then, a gentle adjustment can be tailored to your personal needs. In one case study, 80% of patients who had misalignments were vertigo-free after upper cervical chiropractic care. So find a practitioner in your area today to learn if this is the key to restoring your quality of life.
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