What Is Peripheral Vertigo? Can It Be Cured?


Do you sometimes feel you are spinning or everything around you is rotating even when you’re standing still? What you experience is vertigo, or the false sensation of spinning even when there is no movement. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an actual condition but a symptom.

Vertigo is categorized into two types: central and peripheral. In this article, we’re putting the spotlight on peripheral vertigo. What is it, and what causes it? How can I get relief? We’re going to answer some of the frequently asked questions about peripheral vertigo.

What Is Peripheral Vertigo?

Peripheral vertigo is the most predominant form of vertigo, and a problem in the balance system of the inner ear is often to blame for it.

What Causes Peripheral Vertigo?

Some of the most common reasons for peripheral vertigo are explained below:

  • Labyrinthitis

When the structure deep inside the ear called the labyrinth becomes inflamed due to infection, labyrinthitis occurs. The infection is often brought on by the flu, a cold, or another virus. The labyrinth is a structure made up of fluid-filled canals that are involved in sound detection and balance.

Inflammation of the labyrinth can cause a mismatch between the signals being sent to the brain and the information the brain is receiving from the unaffected ears and eyes.  As the brain is unsure how to handle the mixed signals, vertigo becomes the result. Labyrinthitis can be accompanied by tinnitus, hearing loss, ear pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

  • Vestibular Neuronitis

This is a disorder of the inner ear that results in inflammation of the nerve that links the labyrinth to the brain. In some cases, the labyrinth itself may be affected. It is also referred to as vestibular neuritis. The condition is often due to a viral infection, and it may come without warning. If you have vestibular neuronitis, you may experience nausea, vomiting, and unsteadiness. It can persist for a couple of hours or days but may continue for six weeks before it goes away completely.

  • Meniere’s disease

It is a rare condition that afflicts the inner ear and brings about vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear. When you have Meniere’s, you may experience unexpected episodes of vertigo that last for hours or days. It may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The cause of Meniere’s is still unclear, but a low-sodium diet can help manage some of the symptoms. Surgery is rarely needed.

  • BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

One of the leading causes of vertigo, BPPV is due to tiny crystals that move away from the inside layer of the channels of your inner each. When these crystals transfer to the fluid-filled canals of the ear, BPPV occurs. Head movement makes them be swept along these canals, sending mixed signals to the brain that results in vertigo.

BPPV is triggered when you move your head in certain positions, such as when you roll over in bed or turn your head in a specific direction. During episodes of BPPV, you may experience severe and recurring bouts of vertigo that last for a few seconds to a few minutes. Lightheadedness, loss of balance, and nausea are some of its common symptoms. Sometimes vomiting is also present, and in rare cases, nystagmus (abnormal eye movements).

BPPV is common in people over the age of 50. It may happen for no specific reason or for some of the following reasons:

  • Ear infections
  • Ear surgery
  • Staying in bed for an extended period while recovering from an illness
  • A head injury 
  • Certain medications

Some medications have vertigo as one of their side effects. Before taking any medication, read the patient information pamphlet that comes with it. Discuss with your doctor before you stop taking the prescribed medicine to you.

  • Head injury

In most cases, the onset of vertigo occurs following a head injury or trauma. Your doctor should be able to see if this happens. Head injuries can cause a misalignment in the neck that may lead to vertigo.

How Does Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help with Vertigo?

The best way to answer this question is by providing proof. A study involving 60 vertigo patients shows promising results. All 60 patients had a misalignment in the bones of their upper cervical spine. All of them reported having trauma to the head or neck before the onset of their vertigo symptoms. It resulted from car accidents, sporting accidents, and trips and falls. After getting upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, all 60 saw improvements in their vertigo. Of these, 48 said their vertigo disappeared completely.

Another research study observed a 37-year-old woman that suffered from neck stiffness and vertigo. After receiving chiropractic care for two and a half months, her symptoms went away.

Both of these reports prove that upper cervical chiropractic care can be effective in providing relief and a long-term solution to vertigo. How is this possible? If the uppermost bones of the neck the C1 and C2 vertebrae move out of alignment, they can put undue stress on the brainstem. This leads to the brainstem sending improper signals to the brain about the body’s location in its surroundings. The brain suffers confusion due to the mixed signals, and this leads to vertigo.

Through upper cervical chiropractic care,  a trained professional can find the exact location and angle of your misalignment and correct it. Upper cervical chiropractors use a gentle method to realign your neck bones naturally. Find an upper cervical chiropractor in your area to see significant improvement in your vertigo and overall health.

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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.