Dizziness & Vertigo
Vertigo is a type of dizziness where sufferers experience a feeling of movement or a sensation of
spinning while they are actually stationary. Vertigo can be a very disruptive and even debilitating
illness, as it often results in nausea and difficulty walking. 2.4 million Americans per year report chronic issues with dizziness associated with vertigo. Generally, this condition stems from either an infection in the inner ear or a disturbance in the nerve system. However, when vertigo is a result of nervous system disturbance, chiropractic services are the go-to option to potentially alleviate symptoms.
Vertigo & The Spine
An often overlooked cause of vertigo, most common in people over the age of 65, is the damage or misalignment of the first two vertebrae of the spine. These two vertebrae, which together are known as the upper cervical area, are located in the top of the neck and at the base of the skull. Many of the body’s nerve signals pass through them. When they are damaged or misaligned, nerve signals are often disrupted and vertigo may result.
The upper cervical area can become damaged as a result of head trauma, such as a concussion, or a neck injury similar to whiplash. Patients suffering from vertigo do not necessarily recall a specific head or neck injury that directly preceded the onset of vertigo. This is because the symptoms of dizziness and nausea may not show up immediately after the upper cervical area damage occurs.
The Effects of Vertigo
With more than half of elderly related accidents resulting from falling, the effects of vertigo & dizziness extend farther than simple discomfort. Although many individual instances of diagnosed dizziness incur little to no medical costs, 19 out of 20 hip fractures are the result of accidental falls. In many cases, hip reconstruction or hip replacement may sum as much as $50,000 – $90,000.
Nearly 700,000 of the 2.3 million cases of non-fatal elderly falls result in some degree of hospitalization, more so in men than in women according to one study. Nearly 20,000 falls per year result in death. Could these incidents be avoided or diminished the preventative measure of spinal alignment?
Is Vertigo Curable?
When dealing with a patient suffering from vertigo, a chiropractor will seek to realign the upper cervical vertebrae into their proper positions. Once this is accomplished, the symptoms of vertigo may become lessened or disappear entirely. With 40-80% of reported cases of dizziness and vertigo going unexplained, undiagnosed misalignment of the spine may be the culprit.