Can A Chiropractor Help With Vertigo?

By Dr. Philip Cordova

January 24, 2024


Can a chiropractor help with vertigo? Vertigo is a common condition patients experience, but one that they didn’t know chiropractors treated. They may come to our office with neck pain or back pain, but during the consultation, they may mention “I also have vertigo, but you can’t help that.”

That’s when I get a chance to explain how vertigo is commonly treated with chiropractic care. There are many causes of vertigo, and not all can be treated with chiropractic care. Starting with a consultation and examination is a great way to start the process to determine if your vertigo can be helped with chiropractic.

Vertigo is a condition characterized by an imbalance in the body resulting from disturbances to the brain. This imbalance prompts nerve impulses, signaling to your eyes that they aren’t working in unison, creating the sensation of a spinning room or motion sickness.

According to this PubMed article, vertigo is a prevalent inner ear disorder often caused by infections or inflammation. While it tends to affect more women than men, even mild dizziness warrants medical attention, as underlying causes can be more serious, such as tumors.

However, there can be a mechanical component to chiropractic adjustments to the spine and neck can address the nerves responsible for dizziness, helping restore stability.

What Does Vertigo Feel Like?

Most patients describe vertigo as a sensation like they’re on a boat, often accompanied by nausea and a sense of imbalance. Some patients go on a boat for a vacation and then still feel like they’re on that boat weeks later. Other patients just wake up one day and feel the dizziness and woozy feeling without ever experiencing that before. Finding out the cause of the vertigo is the real challenge.

What Causes Vertigo?

can a chiropractor help with vertigo

Vertigo From Headaches or Migraines

High blood pressure, stress, or excessive sunlight exposure can lead to vertigo triggered by headaches. In some instances, this type of vertigo may resolve on its own without medication once you’ve had a chance to rest and recover.

Migraine sufferers may experience vertigo as a part of their condition, manifesting as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting lasting from 4 to 72 hours. Chiropractors can help with migraines and headaches, particularly those that are cervicogenic in nature, that is, being caused by dysfunction in the neck.

Vertigo Due to Ear Problems

Blockage of the ear canal due to fluid or wax can cause a sense of imbalance, as mixed signals to the ear’s nerves can result in a feeling disorientation. Consultation with a medical doctor typically involves a hearing test to determine the cause.

Vertigo resulting from a middle ear infection can persist for around ten days or more, accompanied by hearing impairment and possible pain. This would definitely require a visit to your medical doctor to have them evaluate your ears and help with resolving the infection.

An inner ear infection causing severe disorientation, vertigo, and visual problems may require hospitalization and extended medication. Regardless of where the ear infection is located within your ear, medical intervention is often required.

Stress-Induced Vertigo

Sudden dizziness may be attributed to stress, affecting the entire body and potentially leading to cavities, heart problems, and high blood pressure. While not involving the ear, this may reflect that the body is not working well.

This type of vertigo responds positively to chiropractic care, allowing the nervous system to restore balance and function as intended.

Meningitis

Immediate medical attention is crucial, especially for those with meningitis or bacterial infections impacting the brain. If meningitis is suspected, better to visit your medical doctor immediately.

Given the diverse causes of vertigo, prompt consultation with a doctor or chiropractor is essential to determine appropriate treatment, whether it be simple medication or more intensive interventions such as surgery. Most patients will visit with their medical doctor first to rule out any life threatening or infection-based causes before seeking help from a chiropractor, and that’s a good way to go.

If your medical doctor has ruled out infection and your symptoms persist, a chiropractor should be your next call before trying to learn to live with this condition.

How Can A Chiropractor Help With Vertigo?

For those that want to have a chiropractor help with vertigo, it’s crucial to choose an office experienced in dealing with this condition. Chiropractors, adept in addressing various symptoms, including back pain, headaches, TMJ pain, migraines, and shoulder pain, can help with non-invasive help for vertigo and dizziness without medications.

Cervical vertigo, characterized by neck symptoms rather than dizziness or nausea, is a common manifestation. Chiropractic adjustments aim to realign the joints and vertebrae in the cervical spine, correcting nervous system function.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), another prevalent type, requires immediate attention. Physical therapy or chiropractic interventions, such as the Epley maneuver, can effectively treat BPPV and associated nystagmus triggered by head movement.

In cases where vertigo is linked to other conditions, medication may be prescribed, but chiropractic consultation remains a valuable option, particularly in cases of chronic vertigo.

Dr. Philip Cordova

About the author

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to become a chiropractor after hurting his back as a teenager and getting help from chiropractic care. He is speaker on health & posture. Click Here To Read His Full Bio

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