Vertigo is one of the most common ailments in the world. In fact, about 40% of people over the age of 40 will have to deal with vertigo at some point. So why are there so few options for care when a person is suffering from vertigo?
Many vertigo treatments involve injections in the ear, some of which can cause hearing loss. There are also invasive surgeries that cause serious long-term effects. Let’s look at a few ways in which modern medicine has let vertigo patients down. We will conclude by providing you with the hope that real help does exist for a person coping with chronic bouts of vertigo.
Not Finding the Underlying Cause
The most common diagnosis for vertigo is BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It basically means that vertigo is triggered by head movements. However, even with this official diagnosis, as much as 70% of cases are designated as idiopathic. In other words, the actual cause of the vertigo is unknown. Overall, fewer than half of patients suffering from vertigo ever find out the underlying cause.
Of course, there are several reasons for this. For example, only about 1% of vertigo cases are ever diagnosed using a lab test. Most causes of vertigo simply can’t be diagnosed in a lab using things like blood or urine samples. Then you have the fact that there are few medications designed to help with vertigo. So doctors are not in a hurry to find a specific diagnosis if they don’t have a pill to cure it.
Take Meniere’s disease for example. This is a condition that involves vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and hearing loss. Doctors often call it idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops (excess fluid in the ears without a known cause) even though this is a misnomer as well. Not all Meniere’s patients suffer from endolymphatic hydrops, and some patients respond so well to upper cervical chiropractic care that the underlying cause must clearly be an atlas misalignment for those individuals.
This brings us to the next way that many doctors let down vertigo patients who have come to them for help.
Not Offering Natural Alternatives
If you are fortunate enough to find a primary care doctor who is okay with offering natural solutions as well as pharmaceutical ones, good for you. Most of us only hear about the pills or surgical options for our health problems when we go to a general practitioner. Even a GP who tries to include natural options may not spend a lot of time researching natural medicine, so the options offered to you may be limited. Here are a few drug-free options that may really help a patient with vertigo.
- Quit smoking – Smoking is bad for the immune system in general as well as blood flow in the body. This can lead to ear or CNS issues that contribute to vertigo.
- Improve posture – We have already established the connection between the neck and vertigo. Posture can play a key role in keeping the neck and the rest of the spine healthy, and this can help ward off vertigo issues.
- Canalith repositioning – Canalith repositioning involves certain head and body positions that can help get the little crystals in the inner ear that detect movement back into the correct ear canal. Since crystals being out of the correct ear canal can cause vertigo, this has proved helpful for some patients.
- Exercise – Exercise reduces stress, and since stress is a common trigger for vertigo, a good exercise program may dramatically reduce the frequency of episodes.
- Increase water intake – Did you know that vertigo is one of the earliest signs of dehydration? Unless there are other symptoms that indicate a dangerous underlying cause like stroke or a heart attack, drinking more water should be your first line of defense against vertigo.
- Upper cervical chiropractic care – This subspecialty of chiropractic has helped hundreds of patients to break free from vertigo in case studies. Let’s take a closer look so you can decide if this is the right option for you.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Helps Vertigo Patients
The atlas (C1 vertebra) surrounds the brainstem, making proper alignment vital so that the brainstem function is not inhibited. It can lead to all sorts of neurological issues if the brainstem is not functioning optimally. The atlas is also close enough to affect the eustachian tubes, preventing them from properly draining fluid away from the ears. This too can lead to vertigo. As a result, it just makes sense to have the upper cervical spine checked, regardless of the vertigo disease you may have been diagnosed with.
Researchers have found that it can take up to 15 years for an upper cervical misalignment to affect the ears, so it is no wonder that many cases of vertigo begin after age 40. You may have suffered a head or neck injury due to a car accident, a slip and fall, a sports injury, or even from an act of violence. Any of these situations could easily lead to misalignment.
If you are suffering from vertigo on a recurring basis, especially if doctors are finding it difficult to provide a diagnosis, an upper cervical chiropractor may be able to help you identify an underlying factor. The gentle adjustments that this subspecialty of chiropractic is known for are safe and long-lasting, giving the body the time it needs to heal. Sschedule a consultation today to find out if this is the natural solution you have been looking for.
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