What is a Vertigo?
Vertigo is not actually a condition but a symptom of a condition. It gives the person experiencing it a false sense of movement. This movement can be that of rotation, rocking, or feeling like the environment around you is spinning and is felt even when you are perfectly still. You can probably relate it to when you were a child and you spun around and around until you felt very dizzy. This is self-induced vertigo and only lasts for a few minutes. However, experiencing actual vertigo as an adult is a lot more frightening because it can happen all of sudden, without warning. It may also come about due to an injury to the head or neck. It can last for many hours or even days and sometimes makes you feel as if you have to lie down until it goes away.
The Role of the Ear in Balance
Sound waves travel through the outer ear canal to the eardrum. At this point, sound is changed to vibrations which are sent through the inner ear by the incus, the stapes, and the malleus (three small bones contained within). The vibrations reach the cochlea and then arrive at the vestibular nerve, which is responsible for relaying signals to the brain. The inner ear is also made up of semicircular canals positioned at right angles to each other. They are lined with tiny cells that act like a gyroscope. This along with the sensitivity of the hair cells within the canals provide feedback instantaneously with regards to our position in our location.
Symptoms of Vertigo
While vertigo itself is a symptom, it is also accompanied by certain things to let you know what you are experiencing. The most prominent one is, as mentioned, a spinning sensation. Specific movements of the head or body may bring this on, such as rolling over in bed or moving the head from side to side. It is not the same sensation of lightheadedness or fainting. People do often have nausea and vomiting with vertigo. Some may have what is called nystagmus, an abnormal eye movement.
In rare cases, vertigo can be a sign of a stroke or other brain problems. If it is accompanied by weakness or incoordination of one side of the body, it is a good idea to seek professional help immediately.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo download our complimentary e-book How to Naturally Relieve Vertigo without Drugs by clicking the image below.
Why Does Vertigo Happen?
Vertigo can occur due to a variety of causes. There are two types of vertigo, and they are categorized by why it happens. They are:
- Central vertigo: This is due to a problem with the brain or spinal cord.
- Peripheral vertigo: This is due to a problem with the inner ear. Often the inner ear becomes inflamed because of illness, or the small crystals contained there may move to the wrong area of the ear and cause irritation to the small hair cells (called benign paroxysmal vertigo or BPPV).
Meniere’s disease is one of the major causes of vertigo. Other symptoms include:
- Hearing loss that fluctuates and can become permanent if not cared for promptly
- Tinnitus — ringing or other noise in the ear
Some other reasons for the onset of vertigo are:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Head injuries
- Migraine headaches
Caring for Vertigo
Seeking care from your family physician will most likely result in a recommendation of some kind of medication to help alleviate your suffering. However, the medication used to care for vertigo is not recommended for long-term use.
Another possible suggestion that can help if you are suffering from BPPV is getting therapy such as the Epley maneuver. This is done by a professional familiar with the technique and knows how to perform it correctly. It involves a number of specific movements of the head to help reposition the crystals in the ear that have moved to the wrong place.
One area seeing much success in helping patients cope with and alleviate the symptoms of vertigo is that of upper cervical chiropractic care. This type of chiropractic focuses on realigning the top bones of the neck that are out of position, in particular, the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Before we discuss why this helps vertigo, let’s look at some proof that it actually does.
Case Studies Involving Vertigo Patients
Two separate case studies were conducted that included a total of 199 patients. Most of these patients suffered from Meniere’s disease. As mentioned earlier, vertigo is the main symptom of Meniere’s and is also reported as the most bothersome.
In study one, 139 people with Meniere’s were evaluated. They reported that before the study their vertigo was rated at an 8.5 out of 10. They received 6 weeks of upper cervical chiropractic care and reported that their vertigo was now at a 3 out of 10. This continued to drop down to a 1.4 over the next two years of care.
In a second study, 60 patients were observed. Out of the 60, 48 reported be free of the symptoms of vertigo by the end of 6 months of care. The rest reported a significant improvement in their vertigo. Some saw relief in as little as only one month!
The thing connecting the 199 patients in the above study is they all had suffered some sort of trauma to the head or neck that resulted in a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. Here at Besso Clinic in Stow, Ohio, we use a method similar to that used in the above studies. It is very gentle and encourages the bones to move back into place without the need for cracking the neck or popping the spine. This is a natural process involving scientific measurements and precise methods. Once the bones reposition themselves, many patients report an improvement in their vertigo issues.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with the Besso clinic call (330) 689-1234 or just click the button below.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.