Are you standing still but the world is spinning? It's not a philosophical question – medical conditions or injury can lead to you experiencing this exact sensation. Vertigo can be mild or severe, but it usually only lasts for a few seconds or minutes.
Symptoms of vertigo include:
Feelings of the room spinning or moving even when you are standing still
Swaying and trouble standing, like you just got off the merry-go-round or a boat
Can also be accompanied by nausea, sweating, and feeling faint or lightheaded
Ringing in the Ears
Ringing or difficulty hearing, like everything has gone fuzzy
What causes vertigo?
Vertigo can be a common complaint after a head or neck injury and is a result of a disruption in your ear. Your inner ear controls your body's balance and spatial orientation.
There are three common causes of vertigo.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – affects the inner ear and causes calcium particles to clutter in the canals of the ear.
Meniere's disease – is caused by changing pressure in the ear and a build-up of fluid.
Vestibular neuritis – is inflammation of the nerves in the inner ear during an ear infection.
Over 7% of the population will experience BPPV in their lifetime, and nearly 80% will require medical treatment to clear up their symptoms.
How long does vertigo last?
Episodes of vertigo usually only last a few minutes and can be triggered by your everyday routine. For example, you may experience vertigo when you roll out of bed in the morning, bend down to tie your shoes, or tilt your head up to see the contents of the top cabinet shelf.
Depending on the specific cause of your vertigo, the symptoms usually clear up over time. Chiropractic treatment for vertigo accelerates the healing from conditions like BPPV and ear infections.
Can a chiropractor help with vertigo?
There are a variety of treatment approaches for vertigo depending on the type of health professional you choose.
Some common treatment options include:
Physical therapy to strengthen the vestibular nerve
Canalith repositioning maneuver (Epley maneuver)
Antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications
Surgery, used only in extreme cases
Chiropractic care is a conservative approach to treating vertigo. There are two favored techniques that may be used by your doctor of chiropractic.
Spinal adjustment – encourages the proper function of your nervous system and restores balance. This chiropractic adjustment targets joints in your spine to restore alignment.
Epley maneuver – helps clear the calcium debris in the semicircular canal. A chiropractor maneuvers your head into various positions to move the debris in your ear and restore balance.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, the effectiveness of the Epley maneuver ranges between 78-95 percent, with just a single chiropractic intervention leading to remission in 44-89 percent of cases. The rate of remission increases with follow-up visits.
When should I see a chiropractor for vertigo?
An ear infection or BPPV should clear up without intervention in a matter of weeks, but you don't have to keep experiencing dizziness or unsteadiness. Make note of your symptoms and bring them to our office for a consultation. On your first visit, we will conduct a physical exam and choose the appropriate chiropractic treatment for your needs.