All About Vertigo and How to Cope
Vertigo is an experience where the person feels the false sensation of motion. It is similar to the experience you have after spinning in circles and suddenly stopping, and the world around you feels as though it is spinning. Forty percent of people age 40 and above will experience vertigo symptoms at least once during their lifetime. Many people describe vertigo using the word dizziness, but the two are very different. Vertigo often brings on nausea and vomiting because of the false sensation of movement, but dizziness is related to a momentary loss of balance or lightheadedness.
What Could Cause Vertigo or Dizziness Symptoms?
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This is considered to be one of the most surprising causes of vertigo, according to Gregory Whitman, MD, from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Balance and Vestibular Center. The inner ear has calcium and protein-based sensing crystals called otoconia. When these crystals get dislodged from their natural location and travel into the inner ear canals, it can cause vertigo. This affects a small number of people, about 1 out of every 1,000 each year, and primarily older adults. This condition is associated with migraines, head trauma, inner ear infections, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Even after correcting this problem of the inner ear, 50% of people have the same problem again within 5 years, particularly if it originated from trauma.
- The ear’s balance system controls the flow of blood: The inner ear balance system assists in blood flow control and senses when the body is in an upright position. This is how transitioning from lying down to standing up allows the two structures of the inner ear – the utricle and saccule – to detect gravity. From the inner ear, the cardiovascular system receives signals that help it direct blood flow, thus adapting to the new body position. When this malfunctions, it can cause vertigo.
- Low vitamin B12 levels: A deficiency in this vitamin could cause neurological issues such as feeling off-balance, low blood pressure, and decreased blood flow to the brain. While these symptoms are obvious and easily corrected, vitamin deficiency is usually an overlooked cause of dizziness. Eating plenty of dairy, fortified cereals, and meat will help with keeping B12 levels at a healthy level.
- Heart disease: This could be caused by leaking or narrowing heart valves, atherosclerosis, and arrhythmias (for example, atrial fibrillation). Each of these limits blood flow to the brain, resulting in dizziness.
- Migraines: Vertigo can accompany a migraine, whether or not a headache occurs. Other vertigo symptoms related to migraines are sensitivity to light, sound, and motion. Nearly 40% of migraine sufferers also experience dizziness or vertigo.
- Medication side effects: Many prescription drugs list dizziness as a side effect. One of the most common ones is blood pressure medication, particularly among older adults or people who may have been prescribed too high of a dose. This is why requesting to start out on the lowest dose possible is a good idea when speaking to your primary care practitioner. Be aware if any medication you are taking has dizziness or vertigo as a side effect, or if any of your medications should not be taken together.
- Dehydration or diet: Healthy hydration levels are key for proper blood pressure. The mildest amount of dehydration can cause lightheadedness or dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure. Be aware that many people’s eating habbits can contribute to dehydration.
- Meniere’s disease: This is a common reason for vertigo onset. If you are also having hearing problems in one ear, tinnitus, or a full feeling in the ear, you may have Meniere’s disease. This is a rare condition only affecting 0.2% of the population and is mostly seen in ages 40 to 60.
- Other reasons: These could be stroke, brain tumor, labyrinthitis, or head or neck injury.
A Natural Path of Treatment for Vertigo
A study observed 60 patients who had been diagnosed with vertigo. Fifty-eight of these individuals remembered some instance of head or neck trauma prior to having vertigo symptoms. Each of them had some form of upper cervical misalignment and were provided an adjustment to correct this part of their spine. All of their care was observed over a 6-month period, with a positive report coming from every one of them due to the care they received. A total of 48 experienced complete elimination of vertigo symptoms, while the other 12 reported a decrease in the severity and frequency of their vertigo episodes. The results from this study reveal compelling evidence that there is an associations between head and neck trauma with vertigo. This study also shows the positive impact upper cervical chiropractic care can have in relieving vertigo symptoms.
Why would this kind of care have such a great impact on vertigo symptoms? The reason lies within the upper two vertebrae of the spine, where the spinal cord and brainstem securely reside. If any form of impact on the head or neck shifts these two bones out of place, it places pressure on the nerves within. This then can cause confusion between the brain and body signals being sent through the brain stem, resulting in the sensations connected to vertigo. The misalignment could be anything from a minor car accident to a rough football tackle or any other circumstance that caused the neck muscles to over extend.
Here at Premier Family Wellness and Spinal Care in Farmington, Michigan, we use a specialized technique that is designed to ease the bones of the neck back into alignment. In our examination, we use the latest in imaging to measure exactly were to apply our gentle adjustment method to the upper cervical spine. This encourages the bones to naturally shift back into place without the need for cracking or twisting the spine or neck. Many of our patients have similar recovery stories to those described above.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Perkins call 248-478-6203 or just click the button below area
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.