Vertigo is a type of dizziness that can last for a short period of time (minutes) or can last for hours or even days. People who have vertigo may also have nausea and vomiting, and a loss of balance. Vertigo is usually caused by problems within the inner ear. The sensation of movement can be objective (objects around you move) or subjective (you are physically moving). Medications to treat vertigo help to ease nausea and vomiting, but unfortunately don’t treat vertigo at its source, and the symptoms usually return after the medication has worn off.
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 orthopedic tests and to rule out other potential causes of dizziness (and refer if necessary).
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) 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. In BPPV, small stones attached in the inner ear can become dislodge and malfunction. These small stones have in important role in notifying the brain if the body is in motion. When there is malfunction of the system, the brain believes that it is in motion, when if fact, it is not. Symptoms are commonly triggered by rising from sleep, tilting the head, rolling over in bed, looking up or sudden head motion. BPPV is the most common disorder of the inner ear’s vestibular system, which is a vital part of maintaining balance, and the most common cause is a sudden trauma (like a fall).
In addition to vertigo, symptoms of BPPV include dizziness (lightheadedness), imbalance, difficulty concentrating, and nausea.
BPPV can be corrected using either Semmont’s Maneuver or Epley’s Maneuver in which we assist the patient in slowly moving their body, head and neck into appropriate positions to encourage the ear rocks to return to the correct location in the inner ear. Following the procedure, the patient is instructed to avoid sudden movements and to sleep for 2 nights in a recumbent position. This procedure has a 90% success rate and often only one treatment is required. If the dizziness returns, the procedure is repeated.
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 successfully treated in our office. The goal is to balance the biomechanics of the neck and to promote a more rapid and complete recovery of the damaged tissues.
As experienced chiropractors in Augusta GA, we also use super pulsed laser therapy in conjunction with your treatment for cervicogenic vertigo, and have had excellent results with our unique treatment protocol. The laser stops inflammation within the nerve cells and neck muscles. This stops the cause of the vertigo and helps the symptoms of spinning go away.
If you are looking for an Augusta GA Chiropractor experienced in treating vertigo and dizziness, you can contact our office at (706) 814-5053 or online at www.georgia-clinic.com to find out if our specialized, vertigo-specific treatments are right for you.
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
Augusta GA Chiropractors Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care to the Augusta GA, Martinez GA, and Evans GA communities. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for customized chiropractic in Augusta GA.