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Can a Chiropractor Help with Vertigo?

Brett McDonough
February 8, 2022

Every year 90 million Americans seek medical help for symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems, making these concerns the second most common reason for seeking medical help. Suffering from vertigo and dizziness can interfere with your daily life and put you at an increased risk of fall accidents. If you're looking for answers on how to improve your balance and coordination, chiropractic care may benefit you. Read on to learn about vertigo and chiropractic care.

What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a general term for the sensation that your body or your surroundings are spinning or moving, even when you're holding still. It is often accompanied by dizziness. Vertigo can be a symptom of a serious medical problem like a heart attack or a stroke, but the most common cause is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Although this condition isn't life-threatening, it can get in the way of everyday activities by impairing balance and coordination.

Ears and Balance Issues

Although BPPV seems to be a problem with the eyes based on what you perceive, the root cause is often the ears. The inner ear is responsible for controlling balance in the human body. There, looping canals called the vestibular labyrinth lined with tiny hair sensors known as otolith organs respond to fluid movements to track the position of your head. Your brain uses information gathered by these sensors and the input of your eyes to help keep your body balanced.

As a part of their structure, otolith organs contain tiny crystals. When these crystals are in the correct place, they help the sensors appropriately respond to gravity. If they come loose, they can enter the vestibular labyrinth and interfere with the function of the otolith organs. This makes it difficult for your brain to track your head's position in space and leads to the sensation of vertigo in people with BPPV.

Can a Chiropractor Help with Vertigo?

Yes, improvements in balance and a reduction in vertigo and dizziness symptoms can benefit from chiropractic care. When you seek chiropractic treatment for vertigo, the doctor will examine you to help determine the potential cause. Then, they will recommend the correct type of chiropractic care to address your symptoms.

Spinal Chiropractic Adjustments

If you see a chiropractor for vertigo or balance problems, the doctor may perform manipulations of your spine. The purpose of these adjustments is to correct the alignment of the vertebrae that make up the spine to reduce pressure on the spinal cord. This can help improve the transmission of signals up and down the spine to improve balance and coordination potentially.

Chiropractic Ear Adjustment for Vertigo

Chiropractic ear adjustment is another potential treatment for vertigo, dizziness, and balance problems. By making careful adjustments to the ears, a chiropractor can help dislodge crystals that have become trapped in the vestibular labyrinth. This can lead to quick improvements in balance and a dramatic reduction in vertigo and dizziness.

Vertigo Exercises

After initial treatment, a chiropractor can teach you some basic exercises to reduce the risk of vertigo returning in the future. These vertigo exercises are sometimes called canalith repositioning. They involve executing a series of head movements and holding each one for about 30 seconds. When appropriately executed, canalith repositioning can help to keep any loose crystals from interfering with your body's natural balance perception. For the exercises to be effective, they must be done correctly. As a result, it is better to have a chiropractor guide you through the movements than to try to master them on your own.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Vertigo

Some reasons why you might wish to consider seeing a chiropractor for vertigo include:

  • Non-invasive treatment. Chiropractic adjustments are non-invasive yet highly effective. You may be able to avoid surgery for vertigo through chiropractic care.
  • Emphasis on body mechanics. Chiropractors take a whole-body approach to treating vertigo. Instead of just focusing on the ears, they can adjust your spine to help keep your body properly aligned to increase your coordination and improve your balance.
  • Stress relief. Studies have found that stress can worsen symptoms of vertigo. In some cases, anxiety can even trigger symptoms of dizziness. Chiropractic care allows you to take a break from the day and relax during adjustments, helping you de-stress.

Seeing a Chiropractor for Vertigo Treatment

The first step to reaping the benefits of chiropractic treatment for vertigo is to schedule an initial consultation with a chiropractor. Make sure to look for one who has experience treating vertigo and dizziness.

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