Vertigo is a type of dizziness in which a person has the sensation of spinning movement when stationary. There are many different causes for dizziness including, for example, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, anemia, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and various inner ear problems. Vertigo can be very upsetting and uncomfortable. It is important to determine the cause of dizziness such that an appropriate solution is found.
There are two types of vertigo that chiropractic care can correct. These are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and cervicogenic vertigo. By far the most common type of vertigo is BPPV. Chiropractors are trained to differentiate between these types of vertigo using orthopaedic tests and to rule out other potential causes of dizziness (and refer if necessary
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a type of vertigo that comes and goes based on head and neck position. When triggered, the dizziness can last a few seconds to a few minutes. Symptoms are commonly triggered by rising from sleep, tilting the head, rolling over in bed, looking up or sudden head motion. This type of vertigo is related to an inner ear problem and the most common cause is a sudden trauma (like a fall).
The good news is that chiropractic treatment can relieve the complaints of BPPV very quickly and effectively employing a technique that is known as the Epley maneuver. Using this treatment, a chiropractor rotates the head of a BPPV sufferer into a number of different positions, letting gravity relocate the calcium carbonate crystals into a zone of the inner ear that is away from the nerve endings where they will cause no further dizziness.
Cervicogenic vertigo is dizziness that arises from the neck. For example, irritation or injury to the joints, muscles or ligaments of the neck can overstimulate proprioceptors (nerve endings that detect position sense) in the neck giving rise to vertigo. Uncomplicated cervicogenic vertigo can be treated by a chiropractor using muscle work (such as trigger point release or stretching), adjustment and/or physiotherapy modalities depending on examination findings. The goal is to balance the biomechanics of the neck and to promote a more rapid and complete recovery of the damaged tissues.