Vertigo and Balance

When patients experience vertigo, they state they have a sensation of feeling off balance. If you have these dizzy spells, you might feel like you are spinning or that the world around you is spinning.  Although many people experience dizzy spells, vertigo symptoms usually last from hours to days.

Most often vertigo is often caused by an inner ear problem. The primary types that people are diagnosed with include:

BPPV. These initials stand for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. BPPV occurs when tiny calcium particles (canaliths) clump up in canals of the inner ear. The inner ear sends signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity. The inner ear helps you keep your balance.  This can often occur for no specific reason and many patients find success with treatements like chiropractic or the canaliths maneauver.

Another common cause of vertigo is  Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disorder thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It can cause episodes of vertigo along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss.  This is usually a more serious issue and can be caused by several issues, including nerve damage or injury from accidents.

There is also Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. This is an inner ear problem usually related to infection (usually viral). The infection causes inflammation in the inner ear around nerves that are important for helping the body sense balance

Some other causes of vertigo may be associated with:

Head or neck injury
Brain problems such as stroke or tumor
Certain medications that cause ear damage
Migraine headaches and more…

 

Treatment for vertigo depends on the cause. In many cases, vertigo goes away without any treatment. This is because your brain is able to adapt, at least in part, to the inner ear changes, relying on other mechanisms to maintain balance.  This is the miracle of a healthy body and something that chiropractic helps maintain.

For some, treatment is needed and may include:

Vestibular rehabilitation. This is a type of physical therapy aimed at helping strengthen the vestibular system. The function of the vestibular system is to send signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity.  Our offices utilize balance boards and vibratory therapy to help reduce the symptoms of vertigo.

Canalith repositioning maneuvers are also used both in and out of the office. Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology recommend a series of specific head and body movements for BPPV. The movements are done to move the calcium deposits out of the canal into an inner ear chamber so they can be absorbed by the body. You will likely have vertigo symptoms during the procedure as the canaliths move.  Most patients with positional vertigo see improvement in a few short visits.

If you have been suffering with vertigo – stop the suffering!  Call us today to see if chiropractic can put an end to your vertigo symptoms.