Whiplash and Other Underlying Causes of Vertigo

June 6, 2021

whiplash and vertigo

Vertigo is among the common symptoms that a sick patient reports when going to a clinic. As a result, finding long-term relief heavily involves retracing what caused the problem in the first place. In some cases, vertigo stems from cardiovascular diseases. On the one hand, other patients experience the symptom due to a previous head injury like a whiplash. Find out more about the relationship between whiplash and vertigo and other underlying health conditions as we discuss the topic further. 


How Does a Vertigo Attack Feel?

A popular but false belief among many is that vertigo is the same as dizziness. Unlike dizziness, instead of simply causing you to lose your balance, vertigo can trigger other issues like uncontrolled eye movements, vomiting, and nausea. Some folks note that their vertigo episodes also come with other debilitating symptoms like ear congestion, trouble speaking, sweating, and temporary hearing loss. 

Doctors generally describe vertigo attacks into two separate classifications based on the sensation felt by a patient. These classifications are as follows: 

  • Subjective Vertigo – This specific type of vertigo makes you feel like you’re moving even when you’re well-rested on a chair or in the corner of a room. 
  • Objective Vertigo – This vertigo attack can make it seem like everything around you is moving. 

Besides classifying vertigo according to what symptoms manifest in a patient, doctors further classify an attack based on the potential root cause. For example, if your attacks seem to originate from an abnormality of the vestibular system, you likely have a peripheral type of vertigo. On the other hand, if the problem arises from a central nervous system malfunction, you might have the central vertigo type. 


Possible Triggers of a Vertigo Attack 

Getting diagnosed by a physician or your neurologist is the best way to understand your vertigo attacks a bit more. This way, you can determine if the additional symptoms you experience connect with your existing vertigo symptoms. It also helps you resolve the leading cause of your problem and find long-term and sustainable relief options. Find out more about the link between conditions like Meniere’s, BPPV, ear infection, whiplash, and vertigo as you read on. 

Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease affects the inner ear’s vestibular system. Besides vertigo episodes, it can trigger tinnitus or ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and ear congestion. Many studies connect the onset of Meniere’s to previous ear infections and abnormal fluid buildup in the ears. 


The labyrinth is one of the tiny bones tucked inside your inner ears. Sometimes, it can get infected with bacteria. When this happens, your labyrinth fails to perform its function – which is to send signals to your brain about your head’s movement or orientation. Patients diagnosed with labyrinthitis mainly report symptoms like vertigo episodes, hearing loss, vomiting, and nausea. The symptoms tend to go away on their own once the infection subsides. 

Vestibular neuritis 

Besides the labyrinth, the vestibular nerve is also at risk of getting infected by bacteria or viruses. If it gets inflamed, it fails to transmit signals on balance and motion to your brain. This messes up the flow of information, convincing you that you are in motion, even when you’re not. Similar to labyrinthitis, the symptoms go away only after you recover from the condition. 

whiplash and vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Did you know that about 107 out of 100,000 individuals have BPPV? It’s a prevalent vestibular disorder that causes the brain to perceive false motions. It gets triggered when some of the calcium crystals inside the inner ear move to a place where they shouldn’t be. 

Hormonal problems during the gestation period

Pregnancy naturally brings a lot of changes to a woman’s body. Sometimes, it even increases the frequency and severity of a vertigo attack. This commonly occurs because of fluctuating hormones like progesterone and estrogen. The release of such hormones tends to play a part in regulating blood pressure. The posture problems that often come with pregnancy also contribute to vertigo attacks. 

Multiple sclerosis

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reported that about 1 million Americans above 18 years old have multiple sclerosis (MS). It often triggers a variety of symptoms which include vertigo attacks and dizziness. Studies explain that lesions or damages to the spinal column serve as the link between vertigo and MS symptoms. 

Whiplash injury

Whiplash injuries are quite common in the country. According to the latest statistics, about 3 million Americans get diagnosed with a whiplash injury every year. Unfortunately, most patients who suffered from a whiplash injury report vertigo as one of their main symptoms. Studies explain that whiplash and vertigo tend to go hand in hand because the neck bones shift and press onto the nerves or the brainstem. This disrupts signal transmission and confuses the brain. 


A Viable Option for Patients with Whiplash and Vertigo

Indeed, vertigo can cause a lot of problems in your life. It can affect your work performance, compromise your relationships and affect your overall physical and mental wellbeing. Thankfully, while vertigo tends to stem from varying health conditions, patients now have the opportunity to feel better and recover faster with the help of upper cervical chiropractic. It’s a scientifically proven procedure that focuses on the alignment of the upper cervical bones. 

If you noticed, the vertigo triggers listed above share a common denominator – having a neck misalignment. That’s why, whether your vertigo stems from pregnancy, BPPV, or whiplash injury, you can count on upper cervical care to provide you with promising results. 

If you need help with whiplash and vertigo or other underlying health problems, you can try consulting with an upper cervical doctor. Find out how the approach can help you live a better and vertigo-free life. 

Start your journey to healing by locating the nearest vertigo chiropractor today! Feel free to schedule a consultation for an upper cervical adjustment.

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.