Vertigo can be described as a feeling of dizziness or as though the world is spinning – when the person is not actually moving. There are many types of vertigo, each producing different sensations, although the feeling of dizziness is a symptom of all. The reason vertigo occurs is the asymmetry of the vestibular system. Vertigo attacks may last as little as a few seconds, and as long as weeks. People at any age can experience vertigo, however it is more common in people over the age of 60, especially women. It is often caused by vestibular system dysfunction. The most common types of vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, cervicogenic vertigo and Meniere’s disease.
Causes of vertigo (BPPV)
Trauma to the head
Certain head movements
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV is by far the most common form of vertigo and the most easily treated. It is most common in elderly females, however any person at any age can suffer from it. The episodes are brief and can last from seconds to minutes. People suffering from BPPV experience quite a severe and intense feeling of whirling upon a specific movement such as looking to one side or getting out of bed. It is often worse in the morning. BPPV occurs because the crystals that are normally embedded in the ear gel, have fallen off. This can be because as people get older, the gel loses its stickiness. These crystals can fall into what is known as the semicircular canal which has fluid within it. This fluid can move without actual movement of the head, and so when the person moves into a certain position, the fluid/crystals will move and distort the hair cells – creating the perception of movement.
Symptoms of vertigo (BPPV)
Feeling like the world is spinning
Loss of balance
Vomiting and nausea
Cervicogenic vertigo is another type of vertigo that chiropractors help with. People with this type of vertigo often feel dizziness with neck pain as well. The dizziness episodes can last from minutes to hours and is often caused by a specific head position.
Causes of cervicogenic vertigo
Injuries of the neck
A heavy knock to the head
Herniated disc in the neck
Arthritis of the neck
How can our chiropractors help you?
BPPV is a condition that can be managed quite well with a certain technique. Our chiropractors use a technique known as the Epley manoeuvre. This involves your chiropractor moving your head in specific sequences to allow the crystals to exit the semicircular canal. This may need to be done on numerous occasions for full relief.
Chiropractic adjustments can also significantly help with vertigo – specifically cervicogenic vertigo.
Symptoms of cervicogenic vertigo
Unsteady when walking
Loss of balance
Limited neck range of motion
Feeling like the world is ’tilting’
Frequently Asked Questions
During your first visit, our chiropractor will review your medical history and ask about your symptoms. They will then do a physical examination consisting of a nerve function assessment, posture assessment, spinal assessment, conduct balance tests as well as test your neurological reflexes.
The chiropractor may also take X-rays if they think it is necessary. After the examination, the chiropractor will develop an in-depth care plan as well as give necessary exercises and advice on how best to improve your vertigo.
No, you do not need a referral from a doctor to see a chiropractor. You can make an appointment with our chiropractors directly online or by calling our friendly reception team. Chiropractors are primary contact practitioners, and will do in-depth analysis and testing to determine if you’re in the right place
Immediately after your first visit, you may still feel dizzy or suffer from your vertigo symptoms which is completely normal. It is recommended that you have someone drive you to and from our clinic. Some things you can do to help with the process include sleeping on the side that does not cause vertigo and sleeping in a reclined position for 2-3 days. Also refrain from bending forward or extending your neck too much.
After gathering an understanding of your concern and health history, your chiropractor will perform a range of assessments including nerve function analysis, postural analysis and spinal assessment to determine the reason and cause of your vertigo. For people with BPPV, your chiropractor will perform the Epley Manoeuvre to try and restore the function of the crystals within the semicircular canals. Your chiropractor may also perform spinal adjustments in which a fast but gentle thrust will be specifically applied to your spine. Spinal adjustments are what cause the popping or clicking sound, and indicate a release of all of the pressure built up in your spine.
The frequency of visits will depend on the severity of your vertigo and how well you respond to care. Naturally, as your symptoms improve, you will require less visits.
Chiropractors predominantly focus on the spine and nervous system. Chiropractors can help relieve neck pain and vertigo by reducing nerve compression and irritation. It can also improve your nervous system by restoring proper function for your spine. When your spine is properly aligned, it helps protect your nervous system from interference. Chiropractic adjustments can greatly help improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Some causes for vertigo include neck pain, a disease of the ear, excessive alcohol consumption and diabetes. Other causes include a recent infection, an eye or brain disease or food poisoning. One of the most common types of vertigo is BPPV, which our chiropractors are trained in assessing, and managing
Cervical manipulation is a type of chiropractic adjustment that involves applying pressure to the vertebrae in the neck. This can help to relieve pain and improve range of motion, and can help to relieve vertigo symptoms.
Book an appointment with one of our Geelong chiropractors for your vertigo.