You may have heard of people (or it could even be you!) complaining that they suddenly feel dizzy or that the room is spinning especially when they get up, or even when they move their head or body. Well, this could be attributed to vertigo.
Vertigo is a type of dizziness that is commonly described as feeling that a person is spinning or that the room is spinning around them, when they are in fact not moving. This feeling of dizziness is also aggravated by head and/or body movements, and a change in positions. Some have also described vertigo as feeling similarly to motion sickness. However, vertigo is merely a symptom with a wide range of disorders, and not a condition. It is often caused by a dysfunction in the vestibular system, which is the body’s centre of command controlling balance, that is located within the inner ear.
Anyone across all ages can get vertigo. However, it happens more commonly in females compared to males, about 2-3 times more in fact! It has also been associated with a wide range of comorbidities such as heart diseases and depression, to name a few. Until now, the exact cause of vertigo is still unknown. What is for certain though, is that vertigo has commonly been associated with problems arising from the inner ear that is responsible for our balance, or it could also be caused by problems involving certain regions of the brain.
Other causes of vertigo:
These symptoms can occur when a person is standing still, lying down or even when they change positions. They can also be constant, or on and off, and it can last for hours, or days, severe episodes could see symptoms persisting even for weeks.
BPPV is a disorder in the inner ear characterized by episodes of vertigo triggered by a change in head positions. It is also the most common diagnosis of vertigo. BPPV happens as a result of the calcium carbonate crystals in our inner ear becomes dislodged and travels into the semicircular canal.The semicircular canal is sensitive to gravity and these dislodged crystals disrupts the fluid in the semicircular canal, sending inaccurate signals to the brain and creating a false sense of movement.
Cervical vertigo or cervicogenic dizziness is a feeling of disoriented or unsteadiness caused by a neck injury, or health conditions that affect the neck. This is also typically accompanied by neck pain with a reduced neck range of motion and the occasional headaches. Cervical vertigo can be caused by direct physical trauma or health conditions that affect the neck and spine such as whiplash, cervical spondylosis, herniated disc, poor posture and ageing (wear and tear).
This is vertigo that arises due to a disease or injury that originates from the central nervous system such as brain tumours, infection, traumatic brain injuries, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
There are a number of different techniques our chiropractors can work with to help reduce vertigo. One of those would be joint manipulations and adjustments that can help realign the joints and cervical vertebrae, allowing for better communication pathways for the spine, nervous system and the body. Chiropractic treatment for vertigo can also include maneuvers for vertigo such as repositioning techniques (Epley Maneuver, Semont Maneuvers among a number of others), in which the head will be shifted and placed in specific angles and positions. These head positioning movements will aid in guiding the crystal movements in the inner ear and relieve your vertigo symptoms.
Physical therapy exercises for vertigo specifically can also be known as vestibular rehabilitation. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is an exercise based program tailored specifically for you, after our team members have done a thorough assessment and finding out the cause of your dizziness. They will then work with your muscles around the neck region, and guide you through a series of vestibular rehabilitation exercises and movements (hand-eye movements, neck mobility, vision exercises) that are designed to help reduce your symptoms and ensure you are able to go back to your daily activities without any limitations.
In this technological age, there are a lot of exercises and techniques that can be found very quickly with just a click or two. However, it is to note that these home remedies found online usually serve as a very general guide and may or may not be specific to your symptoms. That said, it may or may not work for you, or it could also worsen your symptoms. Every condition and its symptom is unique to a person, there is no one size fits all when it comes to chiropractic and vestibular treatments for vertigo.
Our team of chiropractors and physiotherapists work very closely together and they will perform a thorough assessment when you come in for an initial consult, and they will then come up with a treatment plan tailored for you to help get you back on your feet again!