Chiropractic for Vertigo
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or (BPPV) is a condition where you feel a sensation of spinning, swaying and loss of balance depending on the position of your head. Generally about 20% of all cases of dizziness are due to BPPV and about 50% of all dizziness in older patients is due to BPPV. The chiropractor will do a thorough examination when you first come in for treatment to try to determine the cause. In some cases you may have to be referred to a specialist for further assessments. But the good news is that the most common causes respond well to conservative care.
The symptoms associated with BPPV are:
– Sensation of spinning
– Loss of balance
– Nystagmus (a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, often resulting in reduced vision.)
BPPV is often caused by a problem of the inner ear. Tiny calcium stones called otoliths move depending on the position of your head and nerves relate that information back to a part of your brain called the Cerebellum. The Cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech. If these stones are not moving properly or if there is a subluxation in your cervical spine this information will not be transmitted correctly and you will end up with the symptoms above. Other causes could include trauma, aging, severe cold, virus or medications.
Luckily we have specific test to such as the Dix-Hallpike maneuver to rule out more sinister pathology. If found to be BPPV a treatment called the Epley maneuver will be implemented which is very effective for BPPV. When performing the Epley maneuver the chiropractor will move you into specific positions depending on what has previously been found in the assessment. This will move the calcium stones into an area of the inner ear where they will cause no further symptoms.