Giving Vertigo a Spin…

Posted by Dr. Jennifer Viveiros, DC

Have you ever suffered from vertigo or persistent dizziness? What exactly is vertigo? What are possible causes and treatments?

Vertigo is a symptom rather than a condition – the experience of dizziness characterized by a false sense of movement or a feeling of spinning. Vertigo can arise due to problems with the vestibular system – which is controlled by the cerebellum (in the brain stem) and is responsible for coordination and balance and can be affected by different factors.

Some causes of vertigo are:

1. BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo): BPPV is a condition where the calcium crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and move into the semicircular canal. Your Health care professional can use various techniques to treat the vertigo/dizziness depending on the cause. BPPV can be treated using repositioning techniques such as Epley’s manoeuvre, Semont’s manoeuvre, cranial therapy etc.

2. Headaches and Migraines: Can affect cranial and sub occipital nerves, which relay information to the cerebellum. Headaches, depending on the origin, can also be effectively treated with manual therapy techniques such as spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy/remedial massage and acupuncture.

3. Cervical spine dysfunction: Restrictions in the upper cervical joints can disrupt biomechanical feedback from the muscles and soft tissues as well as healthy nerve function in the neck. Mechanical pressure on the upper cervical nerves results in neck pain, headaches and various forms of dizziness since the upper cervical nerves report back to the cerebellum. Cervical dysfunction causing restriction in neck movement and neurological symptoms is effectively treated with various chiropractic techniques including spinal manipulation, deep tissue massage, cranial therapy and acupuncture and more.

4. Ear infection: Vertigo can result in inflammation and swelling inside the ear, which can affect feedback to the vestibular nerve.

5. Inflammation of the vestibular nerve: Inflammation can arise from various causes including bacterial or viral infection. If infection is suspected it is best to consult your medical practitioner to assess and treat the cause of the infection

6. Meniere’s disease: Dizziness and vertigo can also be triggered by Meniere’s disease – when fluid builds up in the ear with an associated sensation of ear “fullness”, hearing loss, and tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears)

7. Acoustic Neuroma: Another possible cause for dizziness and vertigo is an acoustic neuroma. This is a noncancerous tumor that forms on the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain.

Your chiropractor can examine and help diagnose the cause of any of these symptoms and offer treatment options on how you can get back to a healthy functioning state. If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of vertigo, the team at Wellington Healthcare in downtown Toronto is well-equipped to help!