Vertigo has been defined as the feeling as if the person or the things around him are spinning when there is actually no movement. One of the most common forms is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV. While the name sounds long and daunting, it is pretty simple when it is broken down.
- Benign means that life is not at risk.
- Paroxysmal refers to something that happens all of a sudden and lasts for a brief time.
- Positional means that it can be set off by the way a person moves or how they hold their head.
- Vertigo is the sensation of twirling or spinning.
Why Vertigo Happens
BPPV is believed to be related to the calcium crystals in the ear moving to the inner ear where they are not supposed to be. If a number of these crystals build up in the ear canals, the fluid that regulates balance in the ear is disrupted. The inner ear then sends improper signals to the brain about the position of the body, leading to vertigo. In recent studies, BBPV has been closely linked with diabetes, inner ear infections, migraines, and osteoporosis.
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How to Find Relief
Medical doctors often recommend pharmaceuticals to treat the symptoms of BPPV. Others may recommend something called the Epley maneuver to realign the crystals in the ear. Neither of these options works in all cases, and vertigo tends to reoccur if the root cause isn’t addressed. In fact, vertigo returns for up to 50% of patients in a 5-year period.
One area that is seeing success in helping vertigo patients is that of upper cervical chiropractic care. Patients often experience improvement in their symptoms after only a few adjustments. This is due to the fact that an upper neck misalignment, particularly in the C1 or C2 vertebra, can create the right environment for vertigo to occur. A misalignment here hinders communication to and from the brain and body and can cause the inner ear to send the wrong signals to the brain. Once realigned, patients report fewer vertigo symptoms. Some see it go away entirely.
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