Vertigo can be defined as the false sensation of movement. People who suffer from vertigo have described the feeling as the room spinning around them or the feeling that they are spinning around or being pulled towards one side. Vertigo and dizziness are a common reason why many people make a visit to their family doctor or the emergency room.
Vertigo is more prevalent that you might think. Some statistics might be surprising:
- 40% of people age 40 or older will experience vertigo
- In 2011, an estimated 3.9 million people in the US visited the emergency room for vertigo or dizziness
- About 40% of migraine patients also have vertigo
Many of the treatment options for vertigo depend on the type. There are certain positional maneuvers that reposition calcium crystals in the inner ear, medications, and therapies. Unfortunately, many times these treatments do not address the underlying cause of the vertigo attacks.
Proper Spinal Alignment Helps Relieve Vertigo
One of the reasons why vertigo develops is because improper signals are telling the brain how the body is positioned in space. These signals are impacted by spinal alignment. An area of the spine that is of particular importance is the upper cervical spine, made up of your C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) vertebrae. When the atlas and axis are in normal alignment, they provide protection for the brainstem. However, a misalignment in this area can impair normal brainstem function, leading to improper signals. These misalignments commonly happen due to an accident or injury.
Many vertigo sufferers are already finding relief from their symptoms through upper cervical chiropractic care. In one particular study, 60 vertigo patients all saw benefits from their care. 80% had a complete resolution of vertigo, and the remaining 20% experienced improvements in the frequency or severity of their vertigo attacks.
Elster E. Sixty patients with chronic vertigo undergoing upper cervical chiropractic to correct vertebral subluxation: a retrospective analysis. J Vert Sublux Res. Nov 8, 2006: 1-9.