Vertigo is the sensation that you are off balance. It causes you to feel as if you or the world around you is spinning.
Vertigo is often brought about by a problem of the inner ear. Some common reasons for this may include:
- BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo): This happens when tiny crystals group together in the semicircular canals of the inner ear. This is the part of the ear that relays signals to the brain about where the body is located and helps you to keep your balance. BPPV happens for no particular reason and can be age-related.
- Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis: This is an inner ear problem that is related most commonly to a viral infection. This infection leads to inflammation of the inner ear, which affects nerves that are vital for sensing balance.
- Meniere’s disease: This is an inner ear disorder caused by an excess amount of fluid and changing pressures within the ear. It also causes tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hearing loss.
- An injury to the head or neck
- Brain problems: Stroke or tumors
- Medications: Some cause ear damage as a side effect
Common Symptoms of Vertigo
- Feeling unbalanced
- A spinning sensation
- Feeling as if you are being pulled in one direction
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nystagmus (eye jerking movements)
- Hearing loss
- Abnormal headaches
Symptoms may last just a few minutes or a few hours and may be intermittent.
Traditional Care for Vertigo
There are a number of different ways suggested by family doctors and specialists when it comes to caring for and relieving vertigo. There is also an all-natural way that has proven to be effective. Let’s take a look at some of the traditional ways first and compare them to the natural way later on in the article.
Vestibular rehabilitation: This type of physical therapy is focused on helping to strengthen the vestibular system. The vestibular system is responsible for sending the brain signals about the head and body and how they relate to gravity. This type of care is recommended if you have recurring episodes of vertigo. It helps in training your other senses to take over when vertigo occurs.
Canalith repositioning maneuvers: This is generally done when someone is diagnosed with BPPV. It is a series of movements performed to move the calcium deposits out of the semicircular canals and back into the inner ear chamber so that the body can work at absorbing them. The procedure itself usually brings about vertigo, and it is a good idea to allow a professional who is familiar with the procedure to assist you.
Medication: Medication is usually geared towards relieving individual symptoms rather than caring for vertigo as a whole. Some of these are:
- Antihistamines – to dry up excess fluid in the ear
- Promethazine – to help with nausea
- Antibiotics – if caused by infection
- Steroids – if caused by inflammation
- Diuretics – to reduce pressure from fluid build-up
These medications offer temporary relief at best, and they come along with many unwanted and dangerous side effects. Benzodiazepines are particularly addictive.
Surgery: This is only an option if vertigo is caused by an underlying problem that can be helped, such as a tumor or an injury to the brain or neck.
A Natural, Effective Vertigo Solution
One thing linked to vertigo is a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine, especially the C1 and C2 vertebrae. These bones were designed as a protection for the delicate brainstem. The brainstem is the communication highway of the entire body, allowing the brain and body to communicate. The body sends signals via nerves to the brain about the body’s positioning.
The C1 and C2 vertebrae are susceptible to damage due to their shape and location. If you have ever been in any kind of minor or major accident that has affected the head or neck or overextended your neck muscles, such as with whiplash, your upper neck bones may be misaligned. A misalignment here actually puts stress on the brainstem and causes it to send improper signals to the brain about where the body is located in its environment. This can lead to the symptoms associated with vertigo. If the body is telling the brain there is movement when there is no movement, vertigo results.
We use a specialized method that does not require us to pop or crack the spine in order to realign these bones. Rather, it is a gentle technique that is based on specific measurements and imaging to help locate the misalignment and then work at correcting it naturally. As the bones move back into their original position, communication between the brain and body is once again restored. Vertigo may become a thing of the past. But, is there proof it works?
A study observed 60 patients who were diagnosed with various kinds of vertigo. Upon filling out their medical history, all but 4 of them recalled being involved in some kind of accident or trauma affecting their head or neck. Things like bicycle accidents, falling off of a horse, or sporting accidents were included. Upon examination, it was discovered that all 60 participants had an upper cervical misalignment. They began receiving care by an upper cervical chiropractor, and within 1 – 6 months of care, 48 of them saw the total resolution of their vertigo. The remaining 12 reported a great improvement.
Another study involving 139 patients with Meniere’s disease revealed that those who continued to receive upper cervical care saw major benefits. The severity of their symptoms when they began was 8.5 out of 10. At the end of a two-year period, they rated their severity at just 1.4.