When it comes to ailments that patients present to chiropractors, vertigo is right up there at the top of the list. Vertigo can strike pretty much any time, and is especially common following any sort of head and/or neck trauma. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to experience an episode of vertigo – along with the associated nausea and vomiting – you know just how horrible it can be. It’s important to note that, while there are many causes of vertigo, it is a very treatable condition in most cases. One of the most common causes of vertigo and dizziness is a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
Sometimes this is also called Positional Vertigo or Benign Vertigo. Other common causes of vertigo include labyrinthitis and acute vestibular neuronitis.
Unfortunately, BPPV is something that can easily go undiagnosed. Now, while there are medications that can make the symptoms better for a period of time, but they don’t cure the condition…they simply mask its effects. And, let’s face it – we aren’t in the business of masking problems – we’re in the business of treating and curing the underlying condition so that our patients can lead happy, healthy, functional lives. So, let’s take a few minutes to look at what BPPV is, how it’s diagnosed, and how the condition is treated.
BPPV is an inner ear condition that frequently occurs as part of the normal aging process and is due to a degeneration of the vestibular system in the inner ear (this is the mechanism that is responsible for your balance), It can also occur following a head injury, a virus, the use of certain medications, or even a small stroke. However, roughly 50% of all cases of BPPV have no known reason for occurring, which is one of the reasons it’s so frustrating for patients to deal with. When it comes to diagnosing BPPV, your chiropractor will start with a full history and physical. There are even specific tests and maneuvers that chiropractors employ to help differentiate one type of vertigo from another – sometimes these tests aren’t all that fun, but they don’t hurt and are a very necessary part of the diagnostic process.
Once your chiropractor has diagnosed BPPV, there are several things they can do to treat the condition. For instance, there are certain repositioning maneuvers that can be used and tend to cure the vast majority of those suffering from BPPV. Some of these maneuvers utilize gravity to help move the tiny crystals that exist in the inner ear (comprised of calcium carbonate) into a place where they won’t cause any additional symptoms. Obviously, there are some causes of dizziness that can’t be cured via chiropractic manipulation and, if we discover that that’s the case, we’ll make sure that you are referred on to someone that can help.
If vertigo or dizziness is something that you’ve been struggling with, please give us a call. The doctors here are Fletcher Chiropractic are well versed in the diagnosis and treatment of vertigo and would be happy to help you get back on your feet (dizziness-free!) again!