Hundreds to thousands of people tend to ask questions online such as “what is vertigo?” because it’s a very common symptom. University of California – San Francisco explains that roughly 40 percent of Americans experience vertigo at some point in their life. The symptom tends to vary in quality, duration, and intensity between different individuals. Some would describe it as a few-minute long shaking or dizzying sensation. Others compare it to motion sickness that comes and goes. It can also come with other symptoms such as:
- Aura or visual disturbances
- Vomiting or nausea
- Hearing changes
- Spatial disorientation
- Difficulty to stand or walk
Those who frequently experience vertigo know how hard it is to handle simple everyday tasks such as driving, walking to work, and spending time with pets or family members. It’s often unpredictable and can manifest in the middle of a busy day or even while you’re relaxing. By understanding the condition and how it’s connected with specific parts of your body, you can manage it better.
Vertigo and Balance
In exploring the answer to the query “what is vertigo,” it’s crucial to understand how the body finds balance. Inside the inner ears, you’d find a group of tiny bones called the vestibular system. It takes charge of sending signals to your brain about your body’s position and orientation. These small bone structures ensure that you can enjoy doing all sorts of physical activities like running and jumping without tripping due to poor balance.
Unfortunately, the same is not observed in patients suffering from vertigo. Most of them suddenly have difficulties in balancing their body or focusing on what they see. This is mostly because of the disruption of the signals sent by the vestibular system to the brain. If your brain fails to receive the correct information, you will most likely lose your balance and feel disoriented.
To help you understand more about how the body perceives balance, check out the key organs that the brain coordinates with during the entire process:
- Eyes – Your sight will help your brain assess your environment as well as other factors such as depth or movements around you.
- Vestibular System – These bone structures tucked inside the innermost portion of your ear are in charge of your body’s spatial awareness and equilibrium. They also help you sense motion in your environment.
- Kinesthesia – It refers to your ability to sense your surroundings and the movements around you through the sense of touch.
With the brain, your eyes, proprioception, and vestibular system allow you to process critical information needed to balance your body. If the pathway between these four gets disrupted, you will end up experiencing the symptoms of vertigo.
Vertigo and the Brainstem – How They Connect
Another key factor that you need to look into in understanding what is vertigo in the brainstem. It’s a brain structure in charge of regulating various involuntary movements of the body. It’s neatly tucked inside the axis and atlas, the two uppermost bones of the cervical region. Located just on top of the spinal cord, it serves as an essential pathway that sends information to various parts of the body. If it gets damaged because of a misaligned axis and atlas, the body fails to sort information coming to and from the brain, eyes, hands, feet, and vestibular system. Ultimately, this results in loss of balance, confusion, and disrupted depth perception. It could also result in other worse health conditions.
Common Care Alternatives for Vertigo
Because vertigo is mostly a symptom of an underlying health condition, it can be a bit challenging to determine what sort of approach can deliver the best results. By underdoing thorough examination, checking your medical history, and understanding the other existing symptoms you have, primary care physician can provide a recommendation. Below are some of the commonly used methods to care for vertigo patients:
● Canalith repositioning maneuvers
It is commonly done to help patients diagnosed with BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. The process entails the use of head maneuvers to move the canalith crystals inside the ears. Patients with BBPV have calcium crystals in their ears, affecting one’s balance and triggering a spinning sensation.
● Dietary changes
For patients diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, doctors often prescribe low sodium intake. This way, the patient can decrease fluid retention and consequently prevent the buildup of fluid inside the inner ear.
One often overlooked caused by vertigo is medications. Some prescription drugs, such as anti-nausea medication and nerve suppressants trigger vertigo. Pay close attention to the labels and check for the side effects of the drug before using.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Be Your Vertigo Relief Option
Natural and holistic medical approaches have been gaining more traction among vertigo patients over the years. That’s because they’re found quite effective in providing long-term relief. Among the most popular natural methods in managing vertigo is upper cervical chiropractic care. Due to vertigo’s connection to the bone misalignment in the upper cervical region, upper cervical chiropractic care sessions make an effective option that provides hope and relief to patients.
Upper cervical chiropractors primarily focus on the atlas and axis to ease the brainstem’s excessive pressure and restore the normal signal pathways between the brain, vestibular system, eyes, and skin. By correcting the errors, you can eliminate brain confusion and minimize vertigo attacks.
Now that you know the answer to your question “what is vertigo,” your next priority should be to look for medical help. There are plenty of upper cervical chiropractic practitioners who deal with patients suffering from vertigo. Patients receive gentle upper cervical adjustments, with a special focus on the topmost section of the spine. With correct upper cervical alignment, you can take good care of your overall well-being. With each adjustment, you can help address your current vertigo problem and possibly protect yourself from other poor health conditions. Find a local upper cervical doctor near you.