Talk to someone who is under a lot of stress or pressure, and they might say: “There’s so much going on, I just feel like my head is spinning!” Usually, they don’t mean this phrase literally. However, there are unique situations in which stress can cause someone to feel that their surroundings are whirling and tilting: a medical condition called vertigo. Luckily, this condition, which affects nearly 40% of Americans at least once in their lifetime, can be treated through a non-invasive method: chiropractic care!
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a condition that usually results in feelings of dizziness and a spinning sensation, even when completely motionless. This condition can significantly hamper everyday activities, particularly for patients suffering from acute vertigo, disrupting walking, vision, and hearing and causing nausea.
Even worse, vertigo symptoms can manifest suddenly and without warning. Some suffer from constant side effects, whereas others are struck by seemingly random ‘spells’ abruptly overcome by nausea and dizziness.
What is the Root Cause of Vertigo?
Several events and conditions can cause vertigo. One, as mentioned earlier, is being overwhelmed by stress. However, emotionally induced vertigo is not the most common kind.
Generally, the root cause of vertigo is a disturbance in the inner ear organs responsible for a person’s sense of balance. The inner ear can be thrown off by a multitude of factors, ranging from calcium buildups in the ear canal to poorly functioning joints in the cervical spine, which generally involve the ear, head, or neck.
It is always most prudent to see a physician who can help detect a more serious underlying vertigo cause, such as a tumor in or near the head.
What are the Different Types of Vertigo?
Physicians often differentiate between two main types of vertigo: peripheral and central. Although they may present similar symptoms, they stem from root problems in different body areas — peripheral vertigo is a fallout of issues in the inner ear, whereas central vertigo is caused by complications with the central nervous system (CNS).
The three most common types of peripheral vertigo are:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): It occurs when calcium crystals are in the wrong location.
- Labyrinthitis: It stems from viral infection-caused inflammation.
- Meniere’s Disease: It leads to auditory issues such as tinnitus or hearing loss.
The central nervous system, composed of the brain and spinal cord, serves as the command center for bodily communications. Health concerns such as migraines, strokes, tumors, and multiple sclerosis (MS) can result in central vertigo as a symptom. Except for migraines, these conditions are very serious, and medical attention should be sought immediately.
What are the Main Symptoms of Vertigo?
Just as with its causes, a wide range of possible symptoms can result from vertigo. The most common is a sensation of spinning and an inability to balance. However, there is a whole host of other symptoms, including:
Can Chiropractic Care Help With Vertigo?
Fortunately, most vertigo cases are sensitive to chiropractic care, as they are linked to head, neck, or spine injuries. The exception would be stress-induced vertigo, which occurs because of an adrenaline rush generated by the ‘fight-or-flight response.’ When resulting from a head, neck, or spine issue, however, chiropractors are well-equipped to help many who suffer from it!
One type of vertigo, called cervical vertigo, generally follows a neck injury in which joints in the cervical spine (i.e., the neck area) endure trauma and begin moving improperly. As a result, the brain receives disordered signals about the body’s posture and movement.
Manipulations and adjustments by a knowledgeable chiropractor can help realign damaged nervous system pathways and restore appropriate channels for signaling the brain.
Spinal subluxations (i.e., a misaligned vertebra) can also prevent the proper flow of spinal fluid, causing a buildup in the ear canal. Such a condition can result in vertigo symptoms such as pressure, dizziness, headaches, and disorientation.
Chiropractic adjustments can help patients with vertigo return to engage with ease in the activities of everyday life with restored hearing, improved balance, and greater confidence!
The Epley Maneuver
Another common type of vertigo chiropractic treatment can relieve Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). As mentioned earlier, BPPV stems from a buildup of calcium particles in the inner ear. The calcium crystals may shift from the otolith organs (i.e., two sacs in the inner ear that help maintain the body’s sense of balance) to other areas of the inner ear, shifting the perceived center of balance and causing dizziness.
Chiropractors can treat BPPV with the Epley Maneuver, which places the patient’s head in different positions to redistribute the calcium crystals. This non-invasive treatment is simple, fast, and allows the body to naturally support its own healing processes.
Learn to Manage Your Vertigo Symptoms at Bergen Chiropractic!
At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601 are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD, areas. Also, feel free to access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic treatments!
- “3 Ways a Chiropractor Helps Vertigo.” Vitality Precision Chiropractic, 30 Apr. 2018, vitalitypc.com/3-ways-a-chiropractor-helps-vertigo/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.
- “Can Chiropractic Help with Vertigo?” Oakland Lifestyle Medicine, Dean Chiropractic, 12 Nov. 2020, deanchiropractic.com/can-chiropractic-help-with-vertigo/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.
- “Feeling Dizzy? Chiropractic May Help Your Vertigo!” Chiropractic BioPhysics, 6 Sept. 2023, idealspine.com/feeling-dizzy-chiropractic-may-help-your-vertigo/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.