What is Vertigo?


Vertigo is a type of dizziness that may cause you to feel as though you, or your environment, are spinning when in fact there is no movement occurring at all. A variety of causes exist, but most commonly it is due to conditions that affect the inner ear.

Three common causes of vertigo include:

  1. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a benign (non-harmful) condition that affects the inner ear. Within the ear there are tiny calcium “crystals” that move within the inner ear that help you to keep your balance. If these crystals become dislodged or stop moving, it can create false messages to your brain that you are moving. Trauma and age are both factors, but the main cause of BPPV is unknown.
  2. Meniere’s disease caused by changing pressure in the ear or a buildup of fluid in the ear. This pressure can cause vertigo and possible hearing loss.
  3. Vestibular neuronitis is most commonly caused by an ear infection. The nerves of the inner ear become inflamed which cause the the dizziness and spinning.

The symptoms associated with vertigo can vary from one person to the next, but some of the most common may include: spinning, headache, feeling off balance/swaying, sweating, ringing in ears or tinnitus, loss of hearing, nausea, and vomiting.

Choosing to see a chiropractor may be an option to help with vertigo once more serious causes that can exist, have been ruled out, or when other treatment options may not have worked. After a thorough history and physical examination, a chiropractor may suggest that a manual treatment may improve symptoms.

There are two main forms of treatment a chiropractor may use to help relieve vertigo symptoms:

  1. Epley Maneuver is used to relocate crystals of the inner ear (associated with BPPV) to their proper position. Chiropractors have been properly trained to perform this maneuver and it can easily be done in their office.
  2. Spinal manipulation works to target the joints in the spine, particularly in the upper neck, which is associated with proprioceptive feedback.

If you want to work with one of our chiropractors to help your symptoms, contact us to set an appointment!