To begin with, it is important to note that vertigo is not a condition but rather a symptom of other health conditions. It is the feeling that you or the things in your environment are spinning about. It can be barely noticeable, or it can be so severe if it causes you to have to sit or lie down until the spinning feeling passes. You may find it impossible to keep your balance or do your everyday routine tasks. Attacks of vertigo can come on suddenly, without warning. They can last a few seconds or much longer. With severe vertigo cases, your symptoms may be consistent and last for several days. This can make living your life very difficult. Along with vertigo, it is common to experience other symptoms:
- Loss of balance making it nearly impossible to stand or walk
- Feeling nauseated and even vomiting
- Issues with hearing
- Ringing in the ears
Types of Vertigo: If you are experiencing vertigo for the first time or if it keeps coming back, you might want to visit your family doctor. There are two different types of vertigo:
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- Peripheral vertigo: The most common kind of vertigo, peripheral vertigo happens when there is a problem with the balance system of the inner ear. It can be due to various causes:
- A head injury: Sometimes vertigo happens after you have endured a head injury. If this happens, it is important to seek medical attention.
- Labyrinthitis: An inner ear infection causes a structure deep inside the ear to become inflamed. The labyrinth is made up of fluid-filled channels controlling balance and hearing. If this area is inflamed, it causes conflicting information to be sent to the brain than what is being sent from the ears and eyes. This leads to vertigo. Labyrinthitis is caused by a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. It can be due to a bacterial infection as well, but less often. You may also have nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, tinnitus, fever, and ear pain.
- Meniere’s disease: This is a rare condition having vertigo as one of its main symptoms. You may also have a feeling of congestion in the affected ear, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Vertigo attacks may last for hours or days and are often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Symptoms may be able to be controlled by diet, particularly reducing salt.
- Side effects from certain medication: Some medications cause vertigo. Check with your pharmacist or read the information that comes with the medicine.
- Vestibular neuronitis: Like labyrinthitis, this condition causes inflammation of the nerve that connects the labyrinth to the brain. Sometimes the labyrinth itself becomes inflamed. Brought about by a viral infection, it often comes on suddenly and can cause unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting in addition to vertigo. It may last a few hours or days but can take up to 6 weeks to calm down totally.
- BPPV — benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: By far the most common form of vertigo. BPPV often happens when you move your head in a certain way, such as bending over, standing up quickly, or rolling over in bed. BPPV is known for short, intense, recurrent attacks of vertigo lasting for a few seconds to a few minutes. It is usually accompanied by nausea, but vomiting is rare. You may have what is called nystagmus, your eyes jerking without control. It is likely caused by small fragments of calcium braking off and settling in the wrong part of the ear. BPPV is most often seen in people over the age of 50. It can occur for no apparent reason or it can come on due to one of the following causes:
- An ear infection
- Ear surgery
- A head injury
- Staying in bed too long due to illness
- Central vertigo: Caused by issues in certain parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum (near the bottom of the brain) or the brainstem (the lower part of the brain connected to the spinal cord), central vertigo can be brought on by the following:
- Migraines: a severe headache usually causing throbbing head pain, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and vertigo
- Multiple sclerosis: a condition of the central nervous system
- Acoustic neuroma: a rare, non-cancerous benign brain tumor that grows on the acoustic nerve, which is responsible for controlling hearing and balance
- Brain tumors: these tumors would be located at the bottom of the brain
- TIA (a transient ischaemic attack) or stroke (blood supply cut off to part of the brain)
- Certain medication side effects
Finding a Natural Solution for Vertigo: As you can see from the above information, vertigo can be due to a number of things. However, one thing commonly seen connected to vertigo is a misalignment in the top bones of the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae. A sports injury, a car accident, a trip and fall, or similar trauma can cause these bones to move out of place. These two bones act as a protection for the brainstem. However, if they are misaligned, they put the brainstem under stress and cause it to malfunction. If the brainstem is telling the brain one thing, but the signals coming from the eyes and ears tell the brain something else, vertigo can be the end result.
With Upper Cervical Chiropractic care we use precision methods that gently moves the bones back into place without the need to pop or crack the neck or back. This method is based on scientific measurements derived from precision x-rays and a precise spinal correction is tailored to each patients unique anatomy. Once the bones are back in place and proper communication is restored between the brain and body, the patient will go through a healing process and the vertigo symptoms will begin to improve and in many cases go away completely. This is proportional to the nature and degree of spinal injury and resulting damage to the spine. Many people don’t think to have their neck evaluated and often delay seeking care until a significant problem has developed over time.