Can a Chiropractor Help With Vertigo
Finding Balance: How Chiropractic Care Can Alleviate Vertigo Symptoms
Are you constantly feeling dizzy, spinning, or off-balance? You may suffer from vertigo, a condition that can significantly impact your daily life. The good news is that chiropractic care may offer the relief you desperately seek. In this article, we will explore how chiropractic techniques, combined with the expertise of a skilled chiropractor, can alleviate vertigo symptoms.
Vertigo is commonly caused by issues within the inner ear, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which happens when tiny crystals in the ear canal become dislodged. It is so common that approximately 30% of the general population may be affected by it. This is a peripheral type of vertigo that we will talk about here.
Before going further, it is vital to note that if you have vertigo symptoms, please get evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional without delay, as central causes of vertigo may require emergency care. If you have difficulty walking or standing while experiencing dizziness, it is an emergency, and you should call 911.
Chiropractors can resolve vertigo with several specialized techniques.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), is a peripheral type of vertigo that affects the inner ear, specifically the semicircular canals, which work in tandem pairs to provide information to your brain about where your head is located. In your semicircular canals, there are sensory organs called the crista, which have nerve endings which are stimulated by the movement of a gel-type substance attached to hair cells.
If someone moves suddenly to their left, the fluid in their left canal doesn’t move as fast, which sets in motion the deflection of the cupula to the right, and sends a nerve signal to your brain, confirming that your head is moving to the left.
In benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, this system goes awry. It is the most common cause of vertigo, and it is considered to recur at a rate of about 50%. Meaning, if you’ve experienced it once, you are 50% more likely than others to experience it again.
Although the exact cause is not proven, it is believed to be caused by calcium debris in the canal, which affects the movement of the fluid, thus interrupting the process of how your brain knows where your head is and setting in motion the symptoms experienced with BPPV.
Another type of vertigo with similar symptoms and a different treatment approach is cervicogenic vertigo. An experienced chiropractor is an excellent choice to distinguish between the two and provide treatment.
Cervicogenic vertigo is a health issue characterized by the simultaneous presence of neck pain and vertigo, which can also be accompanied by light-headedness. The cervical spine is crucial for maintaining balance, and it is believed that cervicogenic dizziness occurs when the cervical spine or surrounding muscles are impaired. Chiropractors can address both issues.
How can a chiropractor help vertigo?
Specialized techniques such as the Epley maneuver can help reposition these crystals, sometimes providing immediate relief from vertigo episodes in about 78-95% of patients. The rates improve with additional treatments.
Additionally, a chiropractor can teach you self-care techniques you can use at home, such as the half-somersault procedure, and help you improve your balance if needed.
Chiropractic care can provide further support as it focuses on aligning the spine and improving overall movement. This promotes overall health.
If you’re tired of living with vertigo and its disruptive impact on your life, consider exploring chiropractic care as a potential solution. With its holistic approach and proven results, chiropractic treatment may be the missing piece in finding the balance and relief you deserve.
Understanding vertigo and its symptoms
Vertigo is a sensation of spinning or whirling that can lead to dizziness and loss of balance. It is often caused by problems within the inner ear, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which occurs when tiny crystals in the ear canal become dislodged. This can result in episodes of vertigo that can last for minutes or even hours. Other symptoms of vertigo may include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty focusing.
Causes of vertigo and how chiropractic care can help
There are several causes of vertigo, including inner ear infections, head injuries, and certain medications. However, one of the most common causes is BPPV, which can be effectively treated with chiropractic care. Specialized chiropractic adjustments, such as the Epley maneuver, can help reposition the dislodged crystals in the ear canal, providing immediate relief from vertigo episodes. By targeting the root cause of vertigo, chiropractic care offers a natural and non-invasive solution for those suffering from this debilitating condition.
Benefits of chiropractic care for vertigo sufferers
Chiropractic care offers a range of benefits for vertigo sufferers. One of the key advantages is the holistic approach that chiropractors take to address the underlying causes of vertigo. Rather than simply treating the symptoms, chiropractic care focuses on promoting overall health.
Another benefit of chiropractic care for vertigo is its non-invasive nature. Unlike medications or surgical procedures, chiropractic adjustments are gentle and do not involve any invasive techniques. This makes chiropractic care a safe and effective option for individuals of all ages seeking relief from vertigo symptoms.
Additionally, chiropractic care is often more cost-effective than other treatment options, making it a more accessible choice for many individuals.
Additional therapies and exercises for managing vertigo
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, there are several other therapies and exercises that can help manage vertigo symptoms. One such therapy is vestibular rehabilitation, which involves specific movements and maneuvers designed to improve balance and reduce dizziness. These exercises can be performed under the guidance of a trained healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or chiropractor.
Another effective therapy for managing vertigo is specific dietary and lifestyle changes. For example, reducing salt intake and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help alleviate symptoms. Stress management techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help reduce the frequency and severity of vertigo episodes. Individuals can take a comprehensive approach to managing their vertigo symptoms by combining these therapies with chiropractic care.
Finding the right chiropractor for vertigo treatment
When seeking chiropractic care for vertigo, it is essential to find a skilled and experienced chiropractor who specializes in treating this condition. Look for chiropractors who have advanced training in vestibular rehabilitation and are familiar with the specific techniques used to address vertigo symptoms. It is also beneficial to read reviews and testimonials from other vertigo patients to ensure that the chiropractor has a track record of success in treating this condition.
Discuss your vertigo symptoms in detail during your initial consultation with a chiropractor. This will help the chiropractor develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.
Remember, finding the right chiropractor is a crucial step in finding relief from vertigo, so take the time to research and choose wisely.
Research and studies supporting chiropractic care for vertigo
Many individuals who have sought chiropractic care for vertigo have experienced significant improvements in their symptoms.
Read about how a chiropractor helped with a typical case of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics:
The case study delves into the case of a 46-year-old female patient who experienced severe vertigo, dizziness, and nausea due to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). The patient received treatment from a chiropractor without spinal manipulation and was successfully diagnosed with left posterior canalolithiasis through the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. After undergoing the Epley maneuver once, the patient’s symptoms improved, and she was discharged without further treatment. This case highlights the significance of accurately identifying BPPV in patients and how successful treatment can be achieved without spinal manipulation.
Benign Positional Vertigo is the most common cause of vertigo we see at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago. Although individual results vary, our experience treating BPPV is similar to the above. Occasionally, the Epley maneuver needs to be performed 2-4 times to relieve symptoms or recurrent symptoms completely.
But Benign Positional Vertigo is not the only type of vertigo that Dr. Renn sees or successfully treats. Over the 20 years of practice, Dr. Renn has also seen many vertigo patients who have vertigo caused by a problem in their neck, such as their spine or neck muscles. This is called cervicogenic vertigo. Sometimes, patients do not report any neck pain with their vertigo, and sometimes they do.
Like this cervigogenic vertigo case study of a 29-year-old man with a ten-year history of worsening vertigo published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine:
A man in his late twenties had been experiencing dizziness related to his neck for a decade. His symptoms included feelings of excessive motion, imbalance, and spinning, accompanied by pain and stiffness in his neck. However, after undergoing the Gonstead method of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy, he reported significantly reduced pain and dizziness and improved quality of life. This case study indicates that chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy, utilizing the Gonstead method, may be a viable option for patients suffering from nonresponsive cervicogenic dizziness.
Similarly, over his 20 years of treating patients with vertigo, Dr. Renn has also discovered cervigogenic causes of vertigo – meaning that the dizziness was not arising as a problem in patients’ ears as in BPPV that we discussed above but instead from an issue in or around the cervical spine or neck muscles. As a chiropractic physician, Dr Renn is an excellent choice to treat neck pain, thus resolving vertigo, and has seen similar positive outcomes when treating vertigo patients with neck pain. But that is not the only type of vertigo we see at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago.
We also see patients with Meniere’s Disease, which we will learn about in the below case study, also published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Meniere’s Disease is a chronic disease that causes episodes of vertigo that come and go. These episodes are often accompanied by hearing loss, tinnitus, and a feeling of fullness in the ears; although medical management and hearing loss evaluation are required, we work with patients and the rest of their medical team to provide a holistic approach to treatment as we will see in this case study of how chiropractic care helped treat this 40-year-old woman with Meniere’s Disease and vertigo.
A woman in her forties sought chiropractic help for her Ménière disease, which had been causing vertigo and left-sided tinnitus for two months and left-sided neck pain, temporomandibular joint pain, and headaches for over a year. Upon examination, she was found to have left-sided upper cervical joint dysfunction and myofascial trigger points in the middle and upper trapezius muscle. The treatment involved high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation to the upper cervical and thoracic spine, soft-tissue trigger-point therapy, and stretching exercises. The tinnitus resolved within two weeks, and the other symptoms improved. The headaches, neck pain, and vertigo were all resolved within three months, with only two minor episodes of self-resolving “light-headedness” occurring over that time. The patient has only experienced occasional mild aural fullness and light-headedness since then, either self-resolving or relieved with cervical spinal manipulation and soft-tissue treatment. This case report highlights the positive effects of chiropractic care, including upper cervical spinal manipulation and soft-tissue therapy, on some Ménière disease patients.
After 20 years of treating patients with vertigo, Dr. Renn at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago has found that many patients come with a variety of symptoms, including TMJ, Tinnitis, and Neck Pain in addition to their vertigo, and our holistic approach to care is well suited for a positive outcome.
A growing body of research and studies supports the effectiveness of chiropractic care for vertigo. These findings further support using chiropractic care as a safe and effective treatment option for vertigo.
Frequently asked questions about chiropractic care for vertigo
Is chiropractic care safe for vertigo patients?
Chiropractic care is generally safe for vertigo patients, primarily when performed by a skilled and experienced chiropractor. However, discussing your specific condition and medical history with the chiropractor before proceeding with treatment is essential.
How long does it take to see results from chiropractic care for vertigo?
The timeframe for seeing results from chiropractic care can vary depending on the severity of your vertigo symptoms and your body’s response to treatment. Some individuals may experience immediate relief, while others may require several weeks or months of regular chiropractic adjustments. No one can guarantee treatment results.
Can chiropractic care cure vertigo?
While chiropractic care cannot cure vertigo, it can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall quality of life. By addressing the underlying causes of vertigo, chiropractic care offers a natural and non-invasive approach to managing this condition.
Are there any side effects of chiropractic care for vertigo?
Side effects of chiropractic care for vertigo are rare but can include temporary soreness or stiffness in the treated area. These side effects typically resolve on their own within a day or two.
Taking control of your vertigo symptoms with chiropractic care
If you’re tired of living with vertigo and its disruptive impact on your life, consider exploring chiropractic care as a potential solution. With its holistic approach and proven results, chiropractic treatment may be the missing piece in finding the balance and relief you deserve. By addressing the root causes of vertigo and restoring proper alignment to the spine, chiropractic care offers a safe and effective way to alleviate symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Take control of your vertigo today and regain your balance with chiropractic care. Schedule a free consultation today.
Hanley K. O’Dowd T. Symptoms of vertigo in general practice: a prospective study of diagnosis. Br J Gen Pract. 2002 Oct;52(483): 809-812
John M. Epley, Positional vertigo related to semicircular canalithiasis, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,Volume 112, Issue 1,1995,Pages 154-161,ISSN 0194-5998.
Paul Koelliker, Richard L. Summers, Brian Hawkins, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: Diagnosis and treatment in the emergency department—a review of the literature and discussion of canalith-repositioning maneuvers, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 37, Issue 4, 2001,Pages 392-398, ISSN 0196-0644.
Kartatas M. Central vertigo and dizziness epidemiology, differential diagnosis, and common causes. Neurologist. 2008 Nov;14(6):355-364
Fife TD, von Brevern M. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo in the Acute Care Setting. Neurol Clin 33 (2015) 601–617
Joanne Borg-Stein, Michelle E. Brassil, Chapter 8 – Cervicogenic Vertigo, Editor(s): Walter R. Frontera, Julie K. Silver, Thomas D. Rizzo,Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Fourth Edition),Elsevier,2020,Pages 39-42.
Richard W, Bruintjes TD, Oostenbrink P, Van Leewen RB. Efficacy of the Epley maneuver for posterior canal BPPV: a long-term, controlled study of 81 patients. Ear Nose Throat J. 2005;84(1):22-5
BPPV Case Study
Anette R. Nørregaard, Henrik H. Lauridsen, Jan Hartvigsen,Chiropractic Management of a Patient With Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: A Case Report,Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,Volume 32, Issue 5,2009,Pages 387-390.
Cervicogenic Vertigo Case Study
Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ. Chiropractic spinal manipulative treatment of cervicogenic dizziness using Gonstead method: a case study. J Chiropr Med. 2011 Sep;10(3):194-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2011.06.001. Epub 2011 Aug 6. PMID: 22014910; PMCID: PMC3259942.
Meniere’s Disease Case Study
Emary PC. Chiropractic management of a 40-year-old female patient with Ménière disease. J Chiropr Med. 2010 Mar;9(1):22-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2009.12.007. PMID: 21629395; PMCID: PMC3081245.
Dr. DeFabio is a highly regarded chiropractor in Chicago who focuses on helping his patients achieve optimal health and wellness. He takes a holistic approach to care, treating symptoms and addressing underlying issues to promote long-term healing. Dr. DeFabio is passionate about empowering his patients to take control of their health and live their best lives. You can find him surfing, skateboarding, and volunteering at the Lakeview Food Pantry when he’s not in the office.