Have you ever been dizzy or lightheaded? Not what happens when you get up too fast, but an “out of the blue, for no good reason” dizzy/wobbly/shaky? It’s called VERTIGO – and for some it can even come with nausea, sweating or anxiety (often over what’s happening!)
“Vertigo” – the word comes from the Latin vertō, or a whirling or spinning movement that comes from your body (swaying or other movement), your environment, or both.
There are 4 types of dizziness:
- Disequilibrium with the last being the most common experienced. Studies suggest that 20 – 30 percent of the population may have experienced vertigo or dizziness at least once in their lifetime.
Is vertigo a symptom or a disease?
Technically vertigo/dizziness is a symptom – i.e. it’s not the problem, though you may feel like it is. Obviously, what is causing the vertigo is the cause which can be malfunction of the inner ear, brainstem, cerebellum or psychosomatic (induced by the patient psychologically).
As it’s a symptom the diagnosis is usually associated with another health condition.
For example, approximately 93 percent vertigo patients have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), acute vestibular neuronitis, and/or Meniere’s disease causing the vertigo.
Other causes of vertigo include drug use, alcohol and/or antidepressants, migraine, and multiple sclerosis.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Dr. Tim Hain, MD (owner of Dizzy-Doc.com) takes care of vertigo patients for a living and notes “In Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) dizziness is thought to be due to debris that has collected within a part of the inner ear. This debris can be thought of as ‘ear rocks,’ although the formal name is otoconia. Ear rocks are small crystals of calcium carbonate derived from a structure in the ear called the utricle… The utricle may have been damaged by head injury, infection, or other disorder of the inner ear, or may have degenerated because of advanced age.”
As these “stones” roll around in the inner eat with every day movements, BPPV creates brief dizziness episodes of various intensity, usually triggered by specific changes in the position of your head, such as when you move your head up or down, when you lie down, or when you turn over or sit up in bed.
The “Epley Maneuver” (See below) is an at home exercise that often helps resolve with this type of vertigo.
Vertigo, Spinal Care, and Chiropractic
The inner ear contains fluid which allows the brain to monitor movement and maintain balance. The chiropractic philosophy lends that when the structure of your upper cervical area becomes misaligned, added stress placed on the auricular nerves (to the ear canal and structures surrounding) change their function and signaling.
That pressure makes it nearly impossible for your brain to communicate effectively with your body. Thus, chiropractic can provide the perfect alternative solution when dealing with vertigo as the therapy focuses on the central nervous system and the structures that surround it, including your spine and its structure.
A 2006 article in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research connected a link between upper cervical trauma and the onset of vertigo. When injury to that area becomes reduced or removed, the symptoms of vertigo decrease or disappear.
Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T., recommends patients seek chiropractic care to help many different conditions: hypertension, vertigo, heart palpitations, tinnitus, and more.
Remember: A Chiropractic adjustment does not treat the condition of vertigo, i.e. the symptom.
Rather, it can address neurological stress in the upper cervical spine, or elsewhere in the spine, to best enable the body to heal itself and function normally and if the vertigo resolves it happens automatically.
Vertigo: Nutritional, Toxicological or Infectious Cause?
Several studies have linked the following nutrient deficiencies to vertigo/dizziness:
- Vitamin D3 (SOURCE)
- CoQ10 (SOURCE)
- Iron (SOURCE)
- Antioxidants (SOURCE)
Multiple studies have linked the presence of heavy metals (Mercury, Aluminum, Arsenic and Leas (SOURCE).
Additionally, there are numerous studies suggesting a chronic infection with EBV (SOURCE), Lyme (SOURCE) and Mold (SOURCE) can all cause vertigo!
Given this information alone, you can see why the real cause of vertigo can often go undetected for years by conventional medicine – and even if they discover one of the causes above, there is little to no pharmaceutical solution for nutrient deficiency, toxicity or chronic biological infections!
At Home Vertigo Therapy Plan
Begin with the Epley Maneuver (click here for insertional video). It’s a simple exercise that can resolve vertigo in a matter of minutes. Though not a permanent solution, it’s a quick natural fix.
Then start to address your deficiencies by increasing your intake of D3, CoQ10, Plant Sourced Iron and Antioxidants (turmeric, clove, peppermint, cinnamon, oregano as well as alpha/delta tocopherols.
Finally, consider an evaluation of your upper cervical spine alignment by a structural chiropractor who can evaluate the C0/C1/C2 vertebra for subluxation (misalignment) that decreases spinal nerve and cranial nerve function.