Vertigo, Dizziness and Chiropractic Care

Vertigo, Dizziness and Chiropractic Care

Vertigo is a symptom that presents in chiropractic patients, particularly after neck or head trauma. Dizziness and vertigo can be an extremely disabling complaint. It’s a sense of spinning or dizziness, sometimes associated with symptoms like sweating, vomiting and nausea.

Cause of Vertigo

Vertigo can have many causes; in most cases, it’s a treatable condition. The treatment that’s used depends on the cause. That’s why when you first visit your chiropractor for treatment they will have to do a thorough examination. In some cases, your chiropractor may have to refer you to a neurologist for additional assessments.

BPPV, also known as Benign Vertigo or sometimes Positional Vertigo, is one of the common causes of dizziness and vertigo.

BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV is a disorder that causes you to experience brief recurrent periods of vertigo, triggered by particular head movements. The condition can affect people of all ages, although it’s most common in people who are aged 50 years and above.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of vertigo or dizziness, it’s vital that you rule out other causes including trauma, infection, blood pressure changes or a problem within your brain and/or your spinal cord.

BPPV Causes

This inner ear condition usually begins after:

• Use of ototoxic medications (for instance, gentamicin)
• A severe virus or cold
• Minor strokes
• Ageing
• A head injury

In the under 50s, the most common known cause is whiplash and head trauma. In people who are older, the most known common cause of this disorder is degeneration of their inner ear vestibular system, and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo becomes more common with advancing age. BPPV is called “idiopathic” in 50 per cent of the cases. This means the disorder occurs without any known reason.

BPPV Assessment

Since different BPPV types are often characterised by particular head positions triggering them, the examination of a specific BPPV type normally involves your chiropractor placing you in different positions and then monitoring the cause of your symptoms. At Neuroworks may also schedule a very thorough vestibular assessment including computerised video nystagmography where we place camera goggles on your eyes and run through a variety of head and eye movement tests and air caloric tests where the ear is warmed or cooled. This gives a much more information on your condition and a valuable means of monitoring recovery.

Also, nystagmus or characteristic, uncontrolled eye movements are an indicator. So, your chiropractor will observe these plus other signs and determine the type of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo you are suffering from. That’s very important because each type of BPPV needs a different treatment method.

BPPV Treatment

If free-floating calcium carbonate crystals within your ear are the cause, a series of repositioning manoeuvres can move them into the back of your ear canal and move these particles within a ‘pocket’ there. Here, they’re less likely to cause any problem triggered by movement. Your chiropractor will then tell you to remain still and upright as you possibly can to ensure the treatment is effective.

In some cases, VRT (Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy) can also be effective; however, if you are a BPPV sufferer who is still experiencing symptoms, you may need a follow-up course of treatment. If you’re suffering from BPPV symptoms, conservative treatment methods that chiropractors offer may bring relief from the symptoms after only one treatment.

Sleeping Positions that can Combat Vertigo

vertigo

It is estimated that more than 40% of those aged 40 or older will experience the symptoms of vertigo at least once in their lifetimes. Characterised by symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, and abnormal eye movements, sleeping can prove to be a very real challenge. This is because many of the situations mentioned above tend to occur when laying down. We have put together a handful of tips and tricks if you have been looking to enjoy a sound night of sleep while dealing with vertigo.

Pillows and Sleeping Positions

A considerable percentage of vertigo cases result from tiny crystals within the inner ear which have grown to the point where they can affect the nerves related to balance. Unfortunately, this scenario is often exacerbated while in a horizontal position. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep your head slightly elevated during the wee hours. Wedge-shaped pillows and even those intended to be used for travel may be able to provide your head and neck with more support than traditional options.

The second main concern involves what sleeping positions are best if you hope to avoid feeling dizzy and sick. Many experts recommend that you try and sleep on your back, as the crystals within your ear canals are less likely to become disturbed and trigger a vertigo attack. If you happen to get up in the middle of the night, rise slowly as opposed to making any sudden movements with the head or the neck. Sudden jolts or movements can lead to symptoms of vertigo.

Additional Suggestions

Another potentially useful technique that can be performed immediately before falling asleep involves performing a handful of head movements which are intended to redistribute the crystals found within your inner ear. Known as “canalith repositioning manoeuvres“, specific motions such as turning your head from one side to the other while lying on your back have been proven to produce viable results. However, this is also under the assumption that you are suffering from a form of vertigo known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BBPV). Assuming that you have been professionally diagnosed with this type of vertigo, the BBPV treatment techniques mentioned above could prove to be very useful.

However, there are many causes of vertigo and dizziness and it is a good idea to consult with our trained specialist in order to best treat your symptoms.

If you are curious to learn more about how chiropractic treatments may be able to help, feel free to contact us at Neuroworks Chiropractic.

What is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere's DiseaseMeniere’s Disease is a rare condition that affects the inner ear, presenting with symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the ear, tinnitus or vertigo. In extreme cases it can even result in the permanent loss of hearing. It can strike victims at any time, and is believed to affect up to 1.9 per 1,000 people. It can affect males or females, but it is thought that around 10% of people who develop Meniere’s Disease have a family history with it. In other words, it does not discriminate!

It is a sapping condition that can disrupt everyday life as the attacks can vary in severity and length, lasting from around two or three hours all the way up to days at a time. The most common complaints that arise from Meniere’s Disease are unpredictable bouts of vertigo with nausea and vomiting. The length of these spells is unpredictable and can last anywhere from minutes to hours. However, another issue with the Disease is that people who suffer from it can then go days or even years without suffering their next attack, It can come out of nowhere!

What are the signs of an attack?

Meniere’s creates damage to the hair cell receptors in the inner ear, which then spontaneously sends confused signals to the brain. This initially shows up as a kind of rumbling tinnitus sound at first. Other signs of an attack can include a feeling of fullness in the ear which is aural pressure, or the previously mentioned bouts of vertigo and nausea.

Is there a cure for Meniere’s Disease?

Dealing with Meniere’s Disease can be very difficult, as there is not a known cure for the illness at this time. Treatment is normally based around managing the condition to reduce and control the symptoms. This is done via prescription medications, or changing the dietary intake of sufferers to limit sodium.

However, Neuroworks Chiropractic Clinic in Ealing is a neurological rehabilitation centre that provides a holistic, alternative way of treating Meniere’s Disease. The Ealing Chiropractor offers a vestibular rehabilitation programme, designed to teach the patient how to retrain their balance systems to become more stable. While aimed at improving balance and mobility, it can cause an overall improvement to the quality of life for sufferers of the Disease as they learn how to balance themselves again.

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation with the Ealing Chiropractor is a customized exercise programme that basically causes dizziness and then teaches you how to deal with it. It isn’t done to cause acute attacks of vertigo, and the physiotherapists will work with you to train your brain to recognise and overcome dizziness and imbalance. Think of it a bit like getting your sea legs! While these exercises won’t prevent attacks of vertigo, they will help with the long term symptoms of dizziness and imbalance, and give confidence that you can recover from the vertigo attacks caused by Meniere’s in the future.

Vertigo and Dizziness – What is the Difference?

dizziness and vertigoThere is often a lot of confusion when it comes to dizziness and vertigo. The two are often used in conjunction with each and, most of the time, the people using both terms don’t necessary know the difference between the two. In fact, there are differences and when treating vertigo it is important to know what that difference actually is.

Obviously, in normal conversation with a friend or family member, using the word “dizzy” is not too bad. However, when you are talking to a professional like an Ealing Chiropractor, if you know how to describe your symptoms better they will be able to treat you more effectively. Not only will the treatment be more effective the diagnostics may be quicker.

To help you understand what the difference is between these two very similar symptoms, we will be going through the two terms in the following articles. If you’re interested to finally learn the distinction, continue to read on.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a common symptom that you may have experienced at some point in your life. Vertigo is a sensation of movement (often spinning) when you are not actually moving. Vertigo often occurs when two of your senses don’t correlate or your brain misinterprets the senses. For example the signal comes from your balance and positioning senses are in conflict. The areas that are in primary conflict are usually vision, the sensation from the body (proprioception) and the vestibular system in the ears.

How is it caused?

Vertigo can be caused by a whole range of things. You can experience vertigo as a result of an ear infection and well as migraines. It is actually a serious problem is it suddenly occurs and you may require treatment immediately. This is truer is you experience changes in speech and have a loss of function.

What is Light-Headedness?

So what is the other side of vertigo? That would be light-headedness. This is a little different than vertigo and can be often confused when it comes to the term “dizziness”. Light-headedness can be caused by a change in blood pressure to the head and is commonly experienced when you stand up or lie down to fast. You may know this as head rush.

Light-headedness can also be caused by colds and illness but if the issue continues for a long period of time, you may need to consult a professional.

So what is the Difference?

When it comes to dizziness, you can either be light-headed or experiencing vertigo. So how do you tell the difference? It is actually a lot easier than you think.

When you are experiencing vertigo you may not be able to stand straight or movement properly. You will feel like the world is moving around you, as if you have just spun on the spot a hundred times. When you are feeling light-headed, the world doesn’t move around you. You just feel like you’re about to faint and feel weaker. In most cases, the light-headedness will go away once you lie down.

Summing it up

So, as you can see, there are two sides to being “dizzy”. It is important to know the difference to being light-headed and experiencing vertigo. To learn more, please call to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757 now.

BPPV Vertigo Treatment

bppvBPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a condition that causes patients to experience recurrent attacks of vertigo often lasting for only a few moments and which are triggered by particular head movements. Although the problem can affect people of any age, it is most common in the over 50s.

If you are experiencing symptoms of dizziness or vertigo, it is important to rule out other causes that can include blood pressure changes, infection, trauma or a problem within the brain and/or spinal cord itself. BPPV is the most common cause of Vertigo seen by us at Neuroworks Chiropractic practice – and for most patients, is quite easy to remedy.

If the symptoms described sound familiar, please call to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757 and we can assess your problem. If it is BPPV, we can begin appropriate treatment, if it is something that we feel, requires further assessment, we can refer to you another health care professional.

The Causes Of BPPV

Ealing Chiropractor, Johan C Jeronimus, founder of the Neuroworks Chiropractic Clinic, explains that the distressing symptoms of BPPV, that can involve nausea and, less frequently, vomiting, are usually due to a build-up of tiny calcium carbonate crystals floating freely in the fluid of the inner ear. This type of BPPV is referred to as, Geotropic. Particular head movements or positions can result in crystals sending confusing, random messages to the brain as they brush against the sensory, hair-like filaments that, in normal circumstances help us to maintain balance.

Apogeotropic is the name for the type of BPPV where the tiny particles of calcium have attached themselves to a domed structure called the Cupula in the ear.

There are other causes of BPPV and these include an imbalance in the structure of the inner ear and changes in the Cupula that may include a decrease in density due to excess intake of alcohol.

How Do We Assess BPPV?

Because different types of BPPV are characterised by particular head positions that trigger them, the diagnosis of a specific type of BPPV will usually involve placing our patient in different positions and monitoring which cause symptoms. Characteristic, uncontrolled eye movements or nystagmus are also an indicator, so observing these and other signs enable us to determine the type of BPPV a patient is suffering from. This is important, as each type requires a different treatment method.

Treatment

When the cause is free-floating calcium carbonate crystals within the inner ear, a series of positioning manoeuvres can move the particles into the back of the ear canal and deposit them within a ‘pocket’ there – where they are less likely to cause problems triggered by movement.

After repositioning, your Ealing Chiropractor will often suggest that patients remain as still and upright as possible to ensure that the treatment is as effective as possible.

In some cases, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy or VRT can be effective, although a follow-up course of treatment may be necessary for BPPV sufferers who are still experiencing symptoms.

We may also suggest that patients avoid salt and caffeinated drinks for a week after treatment and consider cutting down on both, thereafter as a reduction in the intake of these chemicals has been shown to reduce the formation of the calcium carbonate crystals within the inner ear that trigger BPPV – thus reducing the likelihood of further episodes.

If you are suffering from the symptoms of BPPV, the good news is that the conservative treatment methods offered by your Ealing Chiropractor can often bring relief from symptoms after a single treatment.

An Ealing Chiropractor Discusses Vertigo & Dizziness

vertigo dizzinessDizziness and vertigo are very common complaints that causes a lot of people to present to their chiropractor or doctor’s office. There are a lot of causes of dizziness and so a proper assessment by a trained professional is necessary.

At Neuroworks, your Ealing chiropractor, we specialize in diagnosing and treating all kinds of dizziness. If you or someone you know suffers from dizziness please call to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757 now. Continue reading “An Ealing Chiropractor Discusses Vertigo & Dizziness”