Navigating the World of Vertigo
Vertigo is a sensation of dizziness and imbalance that can be quite complex. The sensation of vertigo is often described as either the room spinning around you OR that you are spinning, and the surrounding room is still. This feeling can also be accompanied by nausea and an overall feeling of imbalance.
There are several different types of vertigo. The most common form is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This type arises when the crystals that inhabit your inner ear become unorganized or “dislodged”, triggering false signals of motion. Cervicogenic vertigo is a type that originates due to issues in the cervical spine (neck) such as whiplash injuries, improper curvature of the cervical spine, or dysfunction to the spine that can affect the body’s sense of proprioception (sense of position in space). With both BPPV and cervicogenic vertigo, changes in position such as rolling over in bed or turning your head quickly can exacerbate this sensation. There are also less common central nervous system causes such as disorders affecting the brainstem or cerebellum.
Vertigo does not discriminate and can affect people of all ages, although certain demographics are more susceptible. Older adults are at an increased risk due to age-related changes to the inner ear. Women are also more prone to vertigo, particularly during hormonal fluctuations such as pregnancy or menopause. Those with a history of migraines, ear infections, or head injuries may also be predisposed.
Treatment options for vertigo depend on the type a person is experiencing. Peripheral vertigo like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and cervicogenic vertigo can be treated with conservative care. The Epley Maneuver is a procedure designed specifically for BPPV, which is a series of head and body movements to help reposition the crystals in the inner ear. Spinal manipulative therapy (adjustments) to the neck to address cervical spine issues are also effective in treating cervicogenic vertigo. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is often done in chronic cases, which involves exercises to improve balance and reduce dizziness by promoting the brain’s ability to adapt to position changes in the inner ear.
Understanding the different types of vertigo and exploring the available treatment options are crucial steps towards managing and mitigating its effects. By shedding light on the complexities of vertigo, we hope to encourage you to seek out our doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness to help you identify the cause of vertigo and explore treatment options to improve your quality of life. Schedule your appointment today!