Recently a patient, Tina, came to me for the lower back pain she was having. On her initial visit, while we were talking, she said that she also frequently had intermittent spells of lightheadedness and dizziness when arising from lying down on her bed or a couch. She explained how she had been diagnosed as having vertigo and no treatment had helped and she was told she’d have to live with it. She asked me: “Can chiropractic care help with dizziness and vertigo?” I said we could check and see what could be done. Fortunately, we were able to help her substantially.
This article will describe how chiropractic care can help lightheadedness, dizziness and vertigo. It will describe what can cause vertigo and how chiropractic treatment can be of assistance. It will also give details about a recent new research study validating conservative chiropractic care for dizziness.
Humans experience balance by way of the three sensory mechanisms. The first is visual. We all know that if we have our eyes open we have better balance than if they are close to. The second is a sensory organ in our ear called the vestibular system. People who get an ear infection many times have balance problems and feel woozy. The third sensory mechanism is found in the joints of the body. Sensory receptors in the joints of our body send the messages of balance to our brain. Our feet, hips and upper joints of our neck are particularly loaded with these important types of joint receptors.
A recent research study in the Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation, February 2019 published important documentation noting the relationship between problems in the upper neck and dizziness. They said that among a group of 236 patients with dizziness, researchers found that 59% also suffered from neck pain. Those with neck pain reported a lower quality of life and worse dizziness symptoms. The authors findings suggest that dizziness may be a symptom associated with what is known as “cervical dysfunction”.
Cervical dysfunction simply means that the bones, called vertebrae, and joints of the upper cervical spine are misaligned and/or not moving properly. This could happen from a trauma or prolonged poor posture such as one might have been a desk job or from repetitive movements like turning the head repeatedly.
Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to assess patients with both neck pain and dizziness. Chiropractors are skilled professionals who are able to feel the areas of the upper cervical spine to see if there is misalignment or improper motion, muscle spasm and inflammation. Chiropractors also can utilize x-rays to examine this area of the spine.
If there is a mechanical problem in this area chiropractors have safe, gentle, effective methods to give conservative treatment to help with dizziness, lightheadedness and vertigo.
In my office we have successfully helped many patients, like Tina, who have been experiencing balance problems for over 34 years. Chiropractic care should be a drug-free, nonsurgical option in the healthcare field for those suffering from vertigo.