Chiropractic for Vertigo: Can a Chiropractor Help with Vertigo?
We’ve all felt dizzy before, whether from standing up too rapidly, stepping off a merry-go-round, or becoming car sick.
Fortunately, the dizziness usually passes within a few minutes.
Vertigo is not so much a condition but a symptom that several conditions can cause, so you are likely suffering from something else when you experience vertigo.
If you have been experiencing this and you wish to regain balance in your life, keep reading to learn how chiropractic care can aid in relieving certain types of vertigo.
What is Vertigo?
In case you did not know, vertigo is a specific type of dizziness that not everyone experiences.
It’s vital to remember that dizziness isn’t the same as vertigo. Instead, it must be accompanied by the sensation—the misguided belief—that everything is spinning or that you are moving.
Other than the spinning sensation that comes together with your dizziness, vertigo can have accompanying symptoms, including:
- chronic headaches
- inability to find your balance
Types of Vertigo
Depending on which part of your vestibular system (involved with controlling balance and eye movements) is compromised and generating your symptoms, vertigo can be classed as peripheral or central.
Let’s look at a short comparison of the two categories:
The most common type of vertigo is peripheral vertigo, which is caused by problems affecting the structures of your inner ear.
The onset is abrupt, and the symptoms are sporadic and more intense. Moving and changing your head position could affect your vertigo even more.
You might also experience recurring nausea and vomiting at a pretty severe level.
Central vertigo is uncommon compared to peripheral vertigo.
Disorders or damage to the structures of your central nervous system (e.g. brain stem, cerebellum) cause this type of vertigo.
You might experience the symptoms of vertigo more slowly, and the symptoms will be a little more mild and persistent. Usually, when you move or change position, it will not affect your vertigo even more.
You might still experience nausea and vomiting, but it will be unpredictable.
Causes of Peripheral Vertigo
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
Changing positions or tilting your head in a given direction might cause this vertigo.
This is because when you move your head, it causes microscopic calcium crystals in one region of your ear to shift into an area they shouldn’t be, fooling your brain into thinking you’re moving when you’re not.
As a result, you may feel dizzy, light-headed, and abrupt and intense spinning or swaying sensations.
This disorder not only causes vertigo but is accompanied by hearing loss, ringing or buzzing in the ears, and the sensation that your ear is plugged or filled with fluid (which it very well could be).
This illness is caused by a viral infection such as measles or chickenpox.
It damages the part of your nerves that transmit sound and balance information from your inner ear to your brain, resulting in dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty walking.
Vestibular labyrinthitis (inner ear infection)
Inner ear inflammation can cause ear pain, pressure, and nausea and affect your balance and hearing.
Causes for Central Vertigo
Vertigo is a common concern among migraine patients, although it does not have to occur at the same time as the migraine.
The symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to twenty-four hours, depending on whether you have continuous vertigo, positional vertigo, or dizziness.
This is a disease that can affect your brain and spinal cord.
While you are experiencing vertigo, it isn’t always severe or debilitating. However, it can linger for hours, days, or even weeks.
Head or neck trauma
A head or neck injury can throw your spine out of alignment or induce whiplash, making you dizzy and causing chronic neck pain while impairing your sense of balance and concentration.
A disruption or blockage in blood flow to the inner ear or brain stem may be the cause.
Cervical spondylosis and degeneration
Your vertebrae and neck discs can wear out over time, which can strain your spinal cord and nerves (central nervous system) and restrict blood supply to your brain and inner ear.
You can also experience vertigo due to brain tumours, changes in air pressure, inhalation or ingestion of toxic substances or drugs and alcohol, circulatory problems and even motion sickness.
To receive the correct treatment and manage your symptoms, you must first determine what is causing your vertigo. The good news is that when inner ear problems or neck joints cause vertigo, chiropractic treatment can be quite helpful.
Chiropractic Treatment for Vertigo
Chiropractors know the procedures that can help your vertigo symptoms subside because of the neurological relationship between vertigo and its causes—between the spine and the rest of your body.
Chiropractors employ two primary techniques to treat vertigo, the first of which is usually regular chiropractic adjustments.
Your neurological system, the body’s primary control system, can perform at its best with regular adjustments.
After each adjustment, your neurological and musculoskeletal systems can begin to function more efficiently.
This can improve function of your ears, lymph nodes, immune system and almost all other systems within your body, as they are nearly all predominantly controlled by the nervous system.
Therefore, chiropractic care can potentially help to reduce or alleviate vertigo symptoms.
The second method to treating vertigo are by doing a few at-home or in-office exercises. BPPV causes debris (crystals) to collect on sensitive parts in the inner ear, causing vertigo.
Your chiropractor can teach you a few movements that will efficiently shift the debris into a more harmless position, allowing you to feel better.
The most common exercises recommended (these should be initially be supervised by a chiropractor):
- Canalith repositioning procedure where you move your head in positions and hold for however long your symptoms of vertigo remains when in the position.
- Brandt-Daroff technique where you lay down on your sides for about half a minute and tilting your head so that your nose points up.
- Epley maneuver where you tilt your head in various degrees while sitting on your bed and lying down on your back and sides.
Keep Steady with Elite Spine Centres today!
Chiropractic treatments can help relieve you of chronic vertigo symptoms especially when it comes to your cervical spine.
We have a team of professionals that will guide you in a proper treatment plan to ensure you’re feeling your best.
When your body is relaxed, it often helps your mind to relax as well.
Interested to know more? Contact us for more information!
Dr. Michael Bryant, doctor of chiropractic and member of the Alliance of Chiropractic (AOC) Singapore, graduated summa cum laude from Life University in Atlanta and received several distinctions, as well as completing additional coursework and NBCE certification in physiotherapy. Michael Bryant is the founder of Elite Spine Centers. Read more about Dr. Mike here.