Vertigo is a subtype of dizziness resulting from an imbalance within the vestibular system. The vestibular system monitors the motion and position of the head in space. Vertigo is often described as the feeling of ‘spinning’ or that the world is ‘spinning around you’. You may experience the sensation of spinning, swaying, the feeling of being unbalanced as well as ringing in the ears, nausea, headache and/or a sympathetic response of the nervous system (eg. sweating, pupil constriction, increased heart rate).
More common types of vertigo include BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), migraine or vestibular neuritis (inflammation of the inner ear). Other reasons for dizziness may be low blood pressure, anxiety, heart problems, low blood sugar or low blood pressure.
BPPV is the most common type of inner ear problems leading to vertigo. This occurs when small particles in the inner ear canals are disturbed can be felt as a brief but intense episode of vertigo or dizziness. These are often felt with movement of the head or when rolling over in bed or getting up in the morning.
The cause of BPPV can be varied but all result in the same occurrence within the inner ear. There are small canals inside the inner ear. These canals contain fluid and a small calcium carbonate crystal deposit. These canals are angled differently and when the head is moved, the fluid movement and the crystal movement helps the brain know how fast, how far and in what direction the head has moved. BPPV is caused by damage to or dysfunction of these structures.
There has also been some more recent research regarding cervical vertigo. Proprioceptive input from the neck plays a crucial role in coordination of eyes, head and body posture as well as spatial orientation. The neck has mechanisms involved in balance control, cardiovascular control and vascular structures. Neck movements are also directly responsible for head movement. As a result of this, the experience of unsteadiness or vertigo associated with movement of the neck could be a result of a disorder in not only the vestibular system but also visual, neuro-vascular or cervico-proprioceptive mechanisms.
How can Chiropractic help with vertigo?
At Sims & Finn Chiropractic our practitioners utilise a thorough neuro-structural assessment to determine the cause of your dizziness and vertigo. Our goal is to support and encourage the management and recovery of dizziness and vertigo, through the use of specific adjustments to the spine to improve proprioception and address any aberrant neurological input to the brain stem.
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