By Dr. Larry Bridge for the SNAP
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 —
Vertigo is a dizzy sensation that makes you feel like you or the objects around you are moving even though you are still. Some of the symptoms of vertigo include nausea, vomiting, disorientation, ringing in the ears, light-headedness, difficulty standing or walking, loss of balance and sometimes visual problems. Some of the causes include: neck/head trauma, infection or damage to the inner ear, tumor, migraines and multiple sclerosis. The two most common types of vertigo are Cervicogenic and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
Cervicogenic vertigo can be the result of neck pain due to muscle and joint dysfunction, spondylosis, trauma or cervical arthritis.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is an inner ear condition that can cause severe episodes of vertigo and is due to repositioning of sand like crystals (otoliths) located in the inner ear that become displaced from their normal position and cause vertigo. In patients over the age of 50 at least 50 percent of all dizziness is due to BPPV and the likelihood of BPPV increases as we age. In patients under the age of 50, trauma and whiplash (up to 50 percent of whiplash injury victims suffer with dizzyness) are the most common factors, but it can also be brought on by a cold or virus, the aging process, minor strokes and medication.
Both cervicogenic and BPPV are very treatable in a chiropractic office. The majority of patients with cervicogenic vertigo will improve with treatment of the neck and mid-back, and studies have shown that over 75 percent of patients improve with conservative treatment of the neck using chiropractic manipulative therapy (adjustments) and muscle/tissue release techniques designed to address restricted mobility, mobilization, medication and specific exercise.
Chiropractors are able to diagnose and differentiate the cause of this condition by taking a history and performing a physical and neurological examination. Chiropractic is not suited for all types of vertigo, and if we can’t help we will refer you to your primary medical physician for further testing and treatment.
With BPPV, a simple and very well tolerated technique called an Epley maneuver wil help to cure the majority of patients. If you suffer with any of the above symptoms, see your chiropractor and get back on the road to wellness.