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.

What is Cervicogenic Dizziness?

Cervicogenic DizzinessCervical vertigo (cervicogenic dizziness) is a neck-related sensation that makes you feel like you are spinning or the world around you is spinning. It’s a diagnosis provided to you once all other possible causes of dizziness have been ruled out.

Those suffering from cervical vertigo may complain of dizziness that worsens after they maintain the same head position for too long. Usually, the dizziness will occur after neck pain, and this may be followed by a headache. If the neck pain lessens, the dizziness will also decrease. The symptoms of dizziness last minutes to hours. Also, if you have cervical vertigo, you may complain of general imbalance, which can increase with movement in the environment or with head movements.

Can anxiety bring about cervicogenic dizziness?

Anxiety is an emotion that is characterised by a state of inner turmoil that’s unpleasant. Often manifesting itself through nervous behaviour such as somatic complaints, pacing back and forth and rumination. It’s a feeling of worry and uneasiness, often generalised as well as unfocused as an overreaction to any situation only subjectively seen as menacing.

Anxiety attacks can result in the tightening of the muscles in the neck and hyperventilation, a condition in which you begin to breathe very fast (overbreathing), which may bring about cervical vertigo (cervicogenic dizziness). Anxiety attacks can also lead to physical weakness, difficulty thinking and dizziness. These are some good ways to reduce anxiety:

Get some exercise

A ten-minute walk may be as effective as working out for 45 minutes. A brisk walk or any other simple activity can give you several hours of relief. You can find fun or enjoyable forms of exercise such as playing sport or outdoor games.

Exercise creates endorphins (endogenous opioid neuropeptides and peptide hormones) that makes you feel great. Blood flow is also increased in your body. People who are physically active have lower rates of anxiety. Exercise can improve your mental health by helping your brain cope better when are stressed.

Meditate on positive things

Meditation helps anxiety by breaking negative thought patterns. Racing thoughts often create a vicious cycle of anxiety and worry. Where meditation really shines is that it breaks that vicious cycle of obsessive and negative thinking. Meditation can decrease rumination, even in people having lifelong mood disorders. It reduces the tendency of worrying and then improves your control over your thoughts. Use it to focus on the good and positive things in your life.

Focus on right now

There is a tendency when you are anxious, that you are consumed by negative thoughts about the past or future. Instead, you should pause, breathe and only pay attention to the present moment. This will improve your capability of managing the situation.

Talk to someone

Tell family and friends you are feeling overwhelmed. Let them know how they could help you. Talking to someone who is outside of the situation can help you find a solution.

Speak to the effective, experienced team of chiropractors at Neuroworks to discuss your options for treatment of cervicogenic dizziness. Conveniently located in Ealing, West London.

What It Feels Like to Have Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness

DIZZINESSPersistent postural-perceptual dizziness or PPPD is a relatively newly defined condition. People who have been in to the Ealing Chiropractor to discuss this ailment, have reported that they have experienced bouts of feeling unbalanced, even though they haven’t fallen down, and a feeling that they are moving, even though they are still and not moving at all.

Other conditions that cause dizziness, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and vestibular migraine have been seen to co-exist with PPPD. In fact, this is how it is most commonly presenting itself, and how it is being observed.

The important internal estimates or contributing factors for PPPD, include those of body orientation in terms of gravity, impacting on the motor control of balance and gait, and body orientation or motion. An example of when these symptoms can occur, are if the patient is looking out of the window of a train whilst stationary and then seeing an adjacent train that’s moving, which has been seen to trigger a temporary feeling of self-motion.

Another main feature of PPPD, is the occasional functional gait disorder and sense of imbalance. If you think about the action of human walking, it can be said that it is a species-defining function and a complex one at that, and it takes young ones up to two years to master. As a matter of fact, every step of a human walk involves a near fall. As a child learning to walk, it takes a risk with every step, but there’s also a potential reward with each successful step taken. This action requires a balance between fear and reward circuits in the brain. As we get older, and particularly in the elderly, this balance activates fear circuits as the risk of falling can lead to serious injury and disruption. As a result, elderly people can be seen to walk slowly, maintaining quite a rigid upper body, with low-amplitude leg movements and keeping close contact to the ground. This is the sort of gait that has been seen to develop in some of the sufferers of PPPD.

Patients that have been suffering from PPPD have been misinterpreted as suffering from agoraphobia, because they have intentionally avoided places like supermarkets, high streets and shopping centres. This is because the constant movement in such places, which are visually very busy, present a challenge for the sufferer’s internal estimates of self-motion and bodily stationarity. Some of the patients reported to have PPPD, experience a fear, apprehension and sense of instability, which is manifested in a fearful gait response, when having to walk on open or smooth surfaces.

There’s also a syndrome which was previously called motorists’ vestibular disorientation syndrome. PPPD sufferer’s have occasionally reported that the type of symptoms reported in this disorder, have occurred when driving, creating a distorted sense of a vehicle’s tilt, when on open roads, and this has occurred within very specific speed thresholds. It has been observed that patients will change cars a number of times before they start looking for medical advice.

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.

Vestibular Rehabilitation for Ménière’s Disease

menieres diseaseMénière’s disease is a chronic disorder of the inner ear that produces a group of recurring symptoms. These include attacks of vertigo, disturbances in balance with feelings of dizziness and light-headedness, hearing loss, sensitivity to sound, headaches and increased pressure within the ear.

There is no cure for Ménière’s disease so treatment is, most usually, to relieve the symptoms with prescription medication to help control the build-up of endolymph fluid within the inner ear. In some cases, changing to a low sodium diet and taking prescribed diuretics can also bring relief of symptoms for some patients.

Ealing Chiropractors, Johan C. Jeronimus and Jake Cooke offers a third treatment option at his Neuroworks practice, Vestibular Rehabilitation. This is an exercise-based program, designed to improve balance and to reduce the problems associated with dizziness in Ménière’s disease and other conditions affecting the inner ear (the Vestibular region).

The holistic approach at Neuroworks is to tailor any treatment program to the specific needs of the individual and aims to produce the best possible results for each patient. The benefits of this, individual approach, are borne out by the Ménière’s Society, who say on their website that with regard to Vestibular rehabilitation,

“The more customised this balance training is to the individual, the better the results.” (1)

Johan and Jake also strongly agrees with their statement that:

Although the medication is essential in treating acute episodes of vertigo, they are not for long term use.” (1)

To find out more about Vestibular rehabilitation and to make an initial appointment, please call your Ealing Chiropractor at the Neuroworks practice on 020 8566 3757 today.

What Can Vestibular rehabilitation do for me?

Your Ealing Chiropractor will work with you to create a customized exercise programme. The specific exercises prescribed for each patient are those identified as making them dizzy. By performing these exercises and retraining their balance system, patients are able to cope with these feelings of dizziness.

As the patient improves, the exercises no longer provoke dizziness, so harder exercises will be prescribed to enable further improvement. It has been shown that those who are able to undergo a personally customised Vestibular rehabilitation program, do better than those who undertake more generic exercises.

In a downloadable PDF on Balance Retraining, published by the Ménière’s Society, they state that four out of five people who learned and performed the balance retraining exercises reported they felt better within just a few months. However, by comparison, those who did not learn these exercises did not experience any improvement in their dizziness. (2)

How Can Your Ealing Chiropractor Help?

It is important to understand that the exercises cannot prevent the attacks of vertigo associated with Ménière’s, but they can help with the long-lasting problems of dizziness and imbalance. Ménière’s disease causes changes in the inner ear that result in vertigo and changes in the signals sent to the brain.

For those with Ménière’s disease, the exercises help the brain to adjust to these changed signals, giving patients confidence that they will be able to recover from attacks of vertigo more quickly by using the exercises to clear up the persisting symptoms of dizziness and imbalance

Vestibular rehabilitation exercises take persistence and dedication to achieve results, your Ealing Chiropractor can help by teaching you exercises that will be of specific benefit to you, helping you to progress to harder exercises as your dizziness improves and to help you with the motivation you need to achieve the best possible result.



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”