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.
This inner ear condition usually begins after:
• Use of ototoxic medications (for instance, gentamicin)
• A severe virus or cold
• Minor strokes
• 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.
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.
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.