Vertigo isn’t just a suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock movie from the ‘50’s, it’s a real condition that affects 40% of all people over 40 at least once in their lifetime. The main symptom of vertigo is a spinning, whirling sensation that often occurs after you have been in a rear impact collision but can also occur as a result of an ear infection or other disorders.
Vertigo isn’t just a little dizziness, it can impede your ability to drive or even walk without falling. The vestibulocochlear system is what helps us keep our balance. It consists of tubes filled with fluid and hair like sensors along its walls that determine the position of the head at all times. When there is a disturbance within this system, the brain has difficulty sensing the position of the head, causing that whirling dizziness.
Types of Vertigo
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a common type of vertigo. It is caused by calcium carbonate crystals that became dislodged in an automobile accident or a fall but can also be brought on by age. These crystals float around in the inner ear and when they hit the nerve endings, they cause dizziness, ringing in the ear, hearing loss, nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness, all of which becomes amplified when you move your head or roll over and it may feel like everything is moving in slow motion or that the room is spinning.
The symptoms usually occur when the head moves rapidly like when you’re sitting and you stand up quickly.
Cervicogenic Vertigo occurs when joints aren’t moving properly and correct messages aren’t making their way to the brain, resulting in the sensation of movement when there is none. Chiropractic treatment can target these joints to get them moving properly again.
Ménière’s Disease can occur when there is a change in pressure or a buildup of fluid. It affects the inner ear and can cause deafness, tinnitus, and vertigo.
Vestibular Neuritis happens when you have a viral infection, usually when you’re getting over it. The nerves experience inflammation which causes vertigo and can also cause nausea, vomiting, and an ear infection.
Labyrinthitis is inflammation in the inner ear and can be caused by an ear infection, a cold, or the flu. Vertigo should go away once the infections do.
Misalignment of Atlas and Axis Bones can occur in an auto accident when the head, which can weigh 10-13 pounds, snaps forward and back, causing a disturbance to the nervous system. Using x-rays, your chiropractor can determine whether or not these bones have become misaligned. Using manipulation, your chiropractor can realign them which will allow the body to begin to heal itself.
Once your doctor has ruled out other factors that can contribute to dizziness such as high blood pressure, cholesterol blockage, multiple sclerosis, or tumor, there are several options for treatments. Some forms of vertigo respond well to medications such as antibiotics, steroids, and anti-inflammatory medications, and in drastic cases, surgery may be recommended but often less invasive and more natural treatments are recommended.
Manipulation – Your chiropractor can perform gentle manipulations on your joints and vertebrae to realign them. This can cause immediate relief from vertigo or its effects may be lessened over time as your body heals itself.
Exercises and Physical Therapy – There are specific exercises and maneuvers that can be done to alleviate symptoms of vertigo. The Eply Maneuver involves sitting on the edge of a bed and slowly laying from one side to the next which can clear the vestibulocochlear apparatus of debris that can be causing vertigo. Your chiropractor may also recommend Brandt-Daroff exercises (which are ones that should only be done with your chiropractor) and Tai Chi can be helpful as well.
Relaxation Exercises – Meditation, breathing techniques, and other relaxation exercises can be very effective in the treatment of vertigo.
Diet – Substances that have an adverse effect on the nervous system such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine may trigger vertigo attacks, as do some non-prescription sleep aids and antihistamines. Eliminating these may take away vertigo triggers.
The good news is that with proper treatment, you can overcome vertigo or lessen its impact on your life. At North County Pain Relief, our experienced staff offers non-invasive, non-surgical, drug-free relief from vertigo as well as pain associated with back problems, headaches, auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, fibromyalgia, and more. Call today at (314) 731-4201 to schedule your free consultation and get relief from pain.