Can Chiropractic Help Vertigo?
A woman who is experiencing vertigo.

Can Chiropractic Help Vertigo?

pathmedical Chiropractic Care

Vertigo is a feeling of dizziness or lack of balance. It is usually caused by an inner ear problem but can have various other causes as well, including BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), Meniere’s disease, or an infection that occurs in the inner ear. Vertigo has also been linked to strokes, tumors, migraines, head or neck injuries, and certain medications. While vertigo in and of itself is not incredibly dangerous, a person who is experiencing it may suffer from a poor quality of life as the symptoms can appear without warning and last for extended periods of time.

The most common symptoms of vertigo have been described as feelings of spinning, tilting, lack of balance, being pulled in one direction, or swaying. Occasionally, vertigo may be accompanied by abnormal eye movements, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, sweating, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

While many vertigo treatments come with their fair share of side effects and risks, many of them will not completely rid a person of vertigo as they do not target the root cause. As mentioned, vertigo is most commonly linked to inner ear problems. Chiropractic has proven incredibly effective in reducing problems in the inner ear, including hearing concerns, ear infections, and yes—vertigo.

Vertigo can be connected to fluid buildup in the inner ear, and the area in which the buildup occurs is connected via nerves to your upper cervical vertebrae. When there is a misalignment of these vertebrae, the nerves that exit between them can be pinched, affecting the normal functions of the inner ear including pressure control of the fluid that is linked to vertigo. When a chiropractor gently and carefully adjusts the upper neck to remove subluxations, proper fluid drainage (among other things) can occur, leading to fewer issues with vertigo. With regular chiropractic adjustments, your upper cervical vertebrae will have an easier time staying aligned and could completely eradicate all of the symptoms of vertigo, leading to a better quality of life and freedom from the misery and suffering of vertigo.

There are two primary techniques used when chiropractors treat vertigo, the first of which is usually a basic adjustment. Regular adjustments allow your nervous system, the body’s master control system, to function at its maximum level. When you adjust the skeletal spinal column that encases your nervous system, it facilitates better communication between the brain and the body. Multiple body processes that are not directly part of the musculoskeletal system (e.g. balance, lymph nodes, immune system) can be improved with these adjustments to the spinal column.

The second technique used by chiropractors is the Epley Maneuver, which is a body repositioning technique for the inner ear that helps facilitate the recalibration of the inner ear and its components. It’s a non-invasive maneuver and truly supports the body’s natural healing abilities. Your equilibrium is centered and based between your ears, and any disruptions can cause extreme vertigo. Chiropractic care can treat the underlying issues and causes, and with follow-up care, even prevent reoccurrences.

Along with in-office chiropractic care, your chiropractor may send you home with exercises and activities to help ease your vertigo. One of the most common at-home exercises used is the Brandt-Daroff exercise. This entails starting in the upright seated position; you will then slowly lie down on one side with your nose pointed up from the horizontal at a 45-degree angle. You should remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, or until your symptoms subside, whichever is longer. Once you have noticed the vertigo symptoms subside, move back to the upright position and then do the same process lying down on the other side of your body.

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