Is Vertigo a Disease? Vertigo Questions Answered

April 18, 2021

whiplash and vertigo

The question, “Is vertigo a disease?”, might arise in some situations. Vertigo is one of the most common symptoms that urges people to visit their local emergency rooms. Vertigo, in simple terms, is the spinning, dizzying sensation a person might experience without even moving. People who experience vertigo say that their episodes can be mild or so intense that the attacks can limit their ability to perform daily tasks. 

Some injuries may cause vertigo. For example, a whiplash and vertigo might go hand-in-hand in some cases. While the main cause of vertigo is still unknown to scientists and physicians alike, it can indicate that something is wrong in the body.

Usually, vertigo develops from an issue with the body’s vestibular system. The vestibular system is responsible for the balance in our bodies as well as eye movements. The vestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and brain. Hence, any problem or injury in the inner ear and brain may cause the feeling of vertigo.

Do you have questions in mind about this symptom? Read on to learn more about vertigo.

Question #1: Is Vertigo a Disease?

Vertigo, unbeknownst to many, is not a disease. It is more of a symptom than a health condition per se. Aside from vestibular system issues, other health conditions have vertigo as a symptom. Depending on its origin, here are the two types of vertigo:

Peripheral Vertigo

Peripheral vertigo is caused by issues in a person’s inner ear. Some of the issues include the following:

  • benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • labyrinthitis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • vestibular neuritis

This type of vertigo is the most common one. In a peripheral vertigo episode, aside from the spinning sensation, the affected person might have some difficulty walking during a severe spell. 

Central Vertigo

Central vertigo may be caused by any damage to the central nervous system. It can also originate from issues in the centers that process vestibular signals to the central nervous system. The symptoms associated with central vertigo are milder than that of peripheral vertigo.  

Question #2: Are Abnormal Eye Movements Linked to Vertigo?

The short answer to this question is, yes. Individuals who experience vertigo episodes can also have abnormal eye movements. These jerky, abnormal eye movements are also known as “nystagmus” and are pretty common during an episode of vertigo. 

As mentioned before, vertigo symptoms may arise from issues in the vestibular system, which plays a role in eye movements. The vestibular system tries to correct any abnormal balance signals by moving the eyes. So, if an issue exists within this system, the brain will receive mixed signals about the movement of the body, therefore, triggering a vertigo spell.

Question #3: How Does Dizziness Differ from Vertigo?

Vertigo and dizziness share similar aspects. For one, they might arise from the same conditions. Often, some people tend to confuse vertigo with dizziness. To make things clearer, dizziness is associated with the following sensations:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Woozyness
  • Disorientation
  • Feeling faint

Vertigo is completely different. During vertigo spells, individuals can experience a false sensation of movement or spinning. These individuals may feel like the room is spinning. This symptom may be accompanied by the following:

  • Inability to stand or walk
  • Nausea
  • Tinnitus (a ringing sound in one’s ear/s)
  • Vomiting
  • Hearing issues

whiplash and vertigo

Question #4: What Can Trigger Vertigo Attacks? 

While the main cause of vertigo remains unknown, it may be triggered by several things. As established earlier, the most common reason why people develop vertigo is due to inner ear problems. These problems include injuries as well as infections.

Here are some things can trigger a vertigo spell:

  • Head positional changes
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Flickering lights
  • Dehydration
  • Some Medications
  • Migraines
  • Neck injury
  • Head injury

Central vertigo, on the other hand, can be triggered by the following:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Brain tumors
  • Medication side-effects
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) 

Question #5: Do Head or Neck Injuries Cause Vertigo? 

Head and neck injuries can trigger vertigo symptoms to arise. Any head or neck injuries can also cause the following conditions:

  • BPPV
  • Damage to the inner ear
  • Vestibular migraines
  • Meniere’s disease

Vertigo is also the main symptom of post-concussion syndrome, originating from a hard blow to the head via an accident. Whiplash and vertigo are some of the commonly paired injuries and symptoms. An injury to the neck or whiplash can cause cervical vertigo, which is a neck-related sensation.

Question #6: How Does Upper Cervical Chiropractic Relieve Vertigo?

Chiropractic care may help when an ear infection causes vertigo. Many treatment methods can help bring relief to vertigo symptoms. However, addressing the root of the problem can offer individuals who experience vertigo a long-lasting relief.

Upper cervical chiropractic care is a method of chiropractic that focuses on the neck area. Upper cervical chiropractors are trained to adjust the topmost vertebra, the atlas, in the spine to return to its original position. The atlas, located at the base of the head and top part of the neck, is vulnerable to misalignment due to its position. Any misalignments in this area can produce problematic results, including vertigo.

Aside from vertigo, these chiropractors can also help alleviate other associated pains resulting from any head and neck injury. Whiplash and vertigo sufferers can definitely get upper cervical chiropractic care to get relief. 

Learn more about how upper cervical chiropractors adjust the atlas through gentle and accurate techniques. Contact the nearest upper cervical care chiropractors near you and determine what benefits you can get from this safe, gentle, and natural method to relieve yourself from vertigo spells.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.


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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.