You feel like you have just gotten off a roller coaster, only you haven’t been on one and the feeling isn’t going away. Maybe you feel nauseous and headachy or you’re sweating more than normal.
You could have some visual disturbances or difficulty walking or speaking. You want to scream, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” What exactly could be wrong here?
Sounds like you might have all the classic symptoms of vertigo. And…although there is no specific test that can confirm a vertigo diagnosis, it is usually “ruled in” by “ruling out” any other cause. However, vertigo is a symptom of another condition, sometimes one that is difficult to determine.
The experience of spinning is the major complaint with vertigo. You may feel that you are spinning or the world around you is spinning, or maybe even both. What causes this sensation? There could be a number of causes, including:
• An inner ear disturbance that affects balance, such as a bacterial or viral infection, excess fluid, a tumor, a side effect of a prescribed drug, or nerve inflammation as a result of a central nervous system problem
• A brain disorder, such as a decrease in blood supply to the brain, multiple sclerosis (MS), a skull fracture or head injury, seizures, or a brain tumor
• A migraine headache
• Motion sickness that may occur during a car, airplane or boat trip
Physicians may treat vertigo with oral medications or patches, but many of these have potentially dangerous side effects that are worse than the vertigo.
Often, there is a strong correlation between cervical (upper) spine and vertigo. All of the nerves in the body flow from the brain stem through the upper cervical vertebrae (atlas and axis) down through the spine and out to all parts of the body. If the atlas or axis is misaligned because of an accident or injury, vertigo, and many other conditions, may result. If this misalignment isn’t corrected, vertigo symptoms will not go away.
Many patients, when questioned, will recall a specific upper cervical injury. Since it may take years for symptoms to develop following a head injury, some patients may not be able to recall an incident that resulted in head trauma.
When a patient receives chiropractic adjustments to realign the upper cervical spine and correct the offending cause of vertigo, the symptoms of vertigo may diminish or even vanish entirely!
Please be sure to mention any problems you may be having with dizziness at your next chiropractic visit. We would be happy to address any questions or concerns that you may have.