Can a Chiropractor Help with Vertigo?
If you're unlucky enough to experience vertigo on a regular basis, you know how difficult it can be to enjoy everyday activities. Constantly feeling as if you're on a merry go round is, to say the least, torturous. But, can a chiropractor help with vertigo?
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is defined as a sensation of spinning and loss of balance which can be associated with looking down from high vantage points, a head trauma, eye problems, or may be caused by a disease affecting the inner ear or vestibular nerve. This means that simple things like going down stairs can trigger a spell of vertigo and usually once it starts it's very difficult to get rid of.
Types of Vertigo
There are two primary types of vertigo: central and peripheral vertigo.
The most common of the two, peripheral vertigo is caused by issues in the inner ear such as vestibular neuronitis, BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), or Meniere's Disease. If you suffer from BPPV, this essentially is characterized by tiny calcium carbonate crystals floating around in the fluid of your inner ear. This leads to that dreadful dizzying feeling.
Vestibular neuronitis can make someone brutally lightheaded and is usually attributed to a disease or infection in the inner ear. Meniere's disease is a bit more elusive in its cause. Thought to be triggered by severe stress or too much sodium, caffeine or alcohol intake, Meniere's disease triggers classic vertigo symptoms of dizziness but may also inflict temporary hearing loss.
Central vertigo is largely caused by disease or brain injury. Common causes of central vertigo are:
- Multiple Sclorosis
- Head injuries from sports or accidents
- Brain tumor
Unlike peripheral vertigo which can come and go rather quickly, central vertigo may suddenly strike and linger for extended periods of time.
A third type of vertigo, cervical vertigo, is associated with classic vertigo symptoms sparked by movement of the neck.
Chiropractic Treatment for Vertigo
Treatments for vertigo vary depending on the root cause, but many times people benefit from conservative treatments such as spinal manipulation performed by a professional chiropractor. This is especially effective for those suffering from vertigo caused by injury.
Types of Treatment
During a chiropractic treatment for vertigo, the chiropractor is able to address issues not only with the musculoskeletal system but also is able to perform manipulations which may provide relief to inner ear issues. For example, if a patient is experiencing vertigo from BPPV, a chiropractor is able to apply the Epley Maneuvre which uses gravity to move those calcium carbonate crystals away from the inner ear.
Your chiropractor can also relieve symptoms by manipulating joints in the neck to restore proper movement. If your neck is not moving appropriately, it may be telling your brain that you're in a different position than you actually are. That, coupled with what your eyes and gravity is telling you, causes mass confusion and, consequently, vertigo. At-home exercises are also suggested by chiropractors to ease vertigo symptoms. The Brandt-Daroff technique is one such exercise that you can do in bed!
If you are suffering from vertigo, it is urgent that you see a professional as soon as possible as it may be a sign of something more sinister taking place in your body. Contact us to make a chiropractic appointment for your vertigo today.