It’s well known that chiropractic treatments are extremely effective for easing the pain of personal injuries such as those suffered in minor car accidents. But fewer people realize your practitioner can also help with an assortment of conditions not usually associated with chiropractic intervention such as vertigo.
Vertigo is a severe type of dizziness that causes a sudden spinning sensation that can be very debilitating. Other symptoms include nausea and mental confusion.
According to a CBS report, an increasing number of people are suffering from vertigo, although why the condition is becoming more prominent remains unclear. Most doctors believe the condition is usually related to an inner ear problem that can be detected with a special test. Specifically, calcium crystals in one of the inner ears canals can impede the fluids that are essential to balance. Vertigo can also be caused by a virus that results in inflammation of the balance nerve.
Most cases of vertigo can be eliminated in one or two chiropractic visits using a technique called vestibular rehabilitation, which is an exercise-based therapy where patients turn their head from side to side at varying angles and speeds for several minutes. Other treatments include adjustment of the upper cervical neck vertebrae.
To determine the best course of treatment, your chiropractor may order x-rays or an MRI to identify any potential compressions of the bones and discs that might be causing your vertigo. The practitioner will also conduct range of motion tests to see if the vertigo can be reproduced.
If you are diagnosed with cervical vertigo, treatment may include spinal manipulation of the C1, C2, and C3 vertebrae, the first three bones in your neck beneath the base of the skull. Your chiropractor may also use massage and soft tissue manipulation to alleviate muscular tension associated with your compressed vertebrae, which can also contribute to dizziness and vertigo.
In addition to direct chiropractic treatments, your practitioner may suggest an exercise program designed to stretch and strengthen the neck as well as to improve its range of motion, all of which will help prevent dizziness. It is important to make these exercises a part of your daily routine to prevent or mitigate future episodes of dizziness.
Some chiropractors utilize a conditioning program called Vestibular Habituation Training, which helps people get used to the sensation of imbalance felt when in motion. This type of conditioning involves sitting on the edge of a bed, leaning in the direction you first start to experience vertigo, holding that position for half a minute, and then sitting back up straight. The program calls for the patient to perform the exercises five to ten times a day for three weeks. In most cases it will provide gradual vertigo relief.