We’re one of the few upper cervical chiropractors in Norton Shores, MI who are specialists in treating vertigo and balance disorders. Vertigo brings a false sense of spinning for people who have it. Even when you are not making movements, you may suddenly feel like you are rotating or your surroundings are spinning. It’s not a condition but a symptom of a disorder.
In this blog, we’re going to dive deeper into the key information about vertigo, including its symptoms, causes, some treatment options to alleviate it, and the one natural treatment that has been backed by studies and brings long-term relief.
What Is Vertigo?
Sometimes when children play, they spin around continuously for fun, and this induces a feeling similar to vertigo. Vertigo is a sudden feeling that you or your world is spinning. Although it lasts for only a few minutes, it can be terrifying to experience because it occurs unexpectedly. Symptoms of vertigo can persist for many hours or even days, forcing some vertigo sufferers to stay in bed until it subsides.
Symptoms of Vertigo
The main symptom of vertigo is the spinning sensation. Moving your head or body in a certain way, such as when you roll over in bed or shake your head from side to side, may bring on vertigo. However, it is different from fainting or lightheadedness. Vertigo often comes with nausea and vomiting. Some sufferers also experience nystagmus, abnormal eye movements.
Though it rarely happens, vertigo can be a warning sign of brain problems or a stroke. If you have vertigo along with weakness or incoordination in one side of your body, we recommend you visit a doctor for a medical evaluation.
How the Ear Helps Maintain Balance
Sound waves pass through the outer ear canal to the eardrum. The sound waves become vibrations which are relayed through the inner ear by the three small bones within it — the stapes, the incus, and the malleus. The vibrations enter the cochlea and then move to the vestibular nerve, which sends signals to the brain.
The inner ear also has semicircular canals. They are lined with small cells that serve as a gyroscope. This and the sensitivity of the hair cells within the canals give instant feedback about the body’s position in its environment.
Causes of Vertigo
There are many reasons for the onset of vertigo. Vertigo has two types, categorized based on the source of the problem.
A problem within the inner ear is the cause of this vertigo. Common causes are inflammation because of an illness, or irritation due to the relocation of small calcium crystals to the wrong area of the inner ear – like in benign paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV). Meniere’s disease is also one example of peripheral vertigo.
This is a result of a problem with the brain or spinal cord.
Vertigo can occur due to the following:
Care Options for Vertigo
Vertigo sufferers often seek a doctor’s help, and doctors often prescribe medications to alleviate the symptoms. However, medications for vertigo are not recommended for long-term use as some can cause unpleasant side effects.
If you have BPPV, another thing that can help is a type of exercise called the Epley maneuver. A doctor or physical therapist performs a series of specific movements to the head to help transfer the “ear rocks” (tiny calcium crystals) out of the sensitive portion of the ear (posterior canal) to a less sensitive area.
One practice that has been successful in helping vertigo patients cope with and relieve their symptoms is upper cervical chiropractic care. This subspecialty of the chiropractic profession works on realigning the upper bones of the neck that are out of place, specifically the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Let’s take a look at some of the studies that show evidence of its effectiveness.
Noteworthy Reports on Patients with Vertigo
Researchers have done two interesting studies that included a total of 199 patients. The majority of these patients had Meniere’s disease, a disorder that has vertigo as the primary and most bothersome symptom.
In the first study, they evaluated 139 patients with Meniere’s. Most patients reported that before the study, their vertigo was rated at an 8.5 out of 10. After receiving six weeks of upper cervical chiropractic care, their vertigo improved to a 3 out of 10. It continued to drop down to a 1.4 over the next two years of care.
In a second study, researchers observed 60 patients. Out of them, 48 became free of vertigo symptoms after six months of upper cervical chiropractic care. The rest saw a significant improvement in their vertigo episodes. Some patients reported vertigo relief after only a month!
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Is Proven Effective
The common thing among the 199 patients in the studies we mentioned above is they all had suffered from trauma to the head or neck that lead to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. Here at Zehr Chiropractic in Norton Shores, Michigan, we utilize the same technique used in these studies. Our method is extremely gentle and allows the bones to return into place without the use of force on the bones. We employ a natural process involving evaluations and scientific measurements. Once the misaligned bones reposition themselves, many patients see an improvement in their vertigo and other balance disorders.
If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.