What are Dizziness and Vertigo?
If you are suffering from vertigo or dizziness it is important to understand what those terms actually mean, to make sure you are getting the right guidance and assistance. Dizziness is generally described as a few different things for people. Including a feeling of unsteadiness, light-headedness, poor balance, vertigo or even giddiness. It is important to tell your healthcare professional when your dizziness occurs. If you almost faint every time you are dizzy, it is likely a problem with your heart and cardiac system, some people become dizzy due to psychological reason such as anxiety. Other people can get dizzy from a lack of sugar or other body function issues. A lot of dizziness sufferers have problems with hearing and they’re in their inner ear balance centre that causes vertigo. The term vertigo is generally defined as an illusion of movement. Rotation is the most common illusion and generally people will spin or the room or spin in one direction.
Most of the time dizziness is not a sign that something is terribly wrong. When people spin or rotate from side to side this is a sign that they may have nerve dysfunction in the inner ear balance system referred to as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV. The other more serious cause of vertigo can come from the inner parts (midbrain) of your brain and is generally continuous meaning it does not give your break. Most people spin up or down (vertical movement) in this type and it doesn’t matter which position their head is in they will just continue spinning. Our Chiropractors are trying to rule out more serious causes of spinning or vertigo when they assess you.
Causes of Vertigo
There are seven main causes of vertigo, these are: ear disease such as infections or inner ear balance problems,
food poisoning or alcohol poisoning, standing up to quickly, infectious diseases, vertigo that comes from neck problems, disease of the eye or the brain or psychological disorder such as anxiety.
The most common form of vertigo is BPPV which accounts for up to 90% of all the vertigo cases. This can be caused by trauma such as whiplash, concussion or sometimes by age, as the crystals in your inner ear begin to degenerate. Females mostly suffer from this type of vertigo and episodes are generally brief but happened multiple times. They can last only a few seconds and in some cases a couple of minutes. After a month or two, generally, the symptoms reduce as your brain and body adapts. In true BPPV people will have dizziness/vertigo when they change their head position, usually when they tilt the head backwards or turn their head to one particular side. Rolling over in bed is a very common issue for people with this type of vertigo. It is also common that nausea and vomiting can begin when someone is suffering from vertigo. Our Chiropractors are trained in diagnostic Maneuvers (Dix-Hallpike test) to identify the cause of your dizziness.
Our Chiropractors can then perform techniques that reduce the symptoms of vertigo and eventually diminish them completely.
If you are suffering from vertigo and you need to talk to someone, it is a good idea to call and ask one of our Chiropractors. Generally no treatment will be administered on the first visit because patients need clear instruction as to what to do if treatment is given. The particular treatment option that is most effective often leaves people feeling quite sick, requires them to sleep upright and for someone else to drive them home from the Chiropractic office. There are some techniques such as Epley’s manoeuvre that can be done at home by people who suffer from vertigo.
The second most common cause of vertigo is dizziness associated with neck pain (*neck pain with headaches or dizziness can be a serious medical condition* If you experience this please seek help immediately). These often occur when someone has had whiplash injury, a bulging disc or head trauma. Most people who suffer from neck pain related dizziness have episodes that last for minutes to hours and are related to their head position. The more someone moves their neck the more they will experience dizziness in this case. People often have trouble moving their neck in a full range of motion, usually have headaches and neck pain as well.
Chiropractors are in a unique position to manage cervicogenic or neck pain related vertigo. Chiropractors that perform spinal manipulative therapy- like our Chiropractors- have shown good evidence for relief of symptoms in patients who suffer vertigo. Spinal mobilisation, head movement training and balance training are also important for people to ensure they reduce their symptoms, and their symptoms are gone for good.
There are also infectious causes of dizziness that generally can come along with a hearing life loss and happen around the time of a flu like illness.
If you have experienced vertigo that lasts longer than four weeks, results in a changing your hearing, if your spinning is up to down direction, or your vertigo is so serious that it is disabling you, then you need to see a GP and get a referral to a specialist.