The word dizzy is used to describe such sensations as feeling faint, lightheaded, unsteady, or ringing in the ears. The sense that one’s surroundings are spinning while they are standing still is called vertigo. Keeping your sense of balance requires your brain processing a variety of information from your eyes, nervous system, joints, and inner ears. If messages from these various locations are contradictory, or if the sensory or nervous systems are not functioning properly, this will cause dizziness and a loss of balance. Common causes of such message disruption include bacterial or viral infections affecting the inner ear; subluxation (irritation of the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, spinal nerves, brain, or ear); high or low blood pressure affecting blood flow to the brain; many medications; motion sickness; and stress. Rarely does dizziness or vertigo signal a serious or life-threatening problem. Dizziness is one of the most common reasons people visit doctors. Traditional medicine commonly fails to determine the underlying cause of dizziness, and merely treats the symptom with anti-vertigo medication.
Chiropractic and Vertigo
Chiropractic aims to remove irritation to the nervous system and thus re-establish proper communication between the body and the brain. Subluxation, particularly in the neck, has been theorized to interfere with both nerve and blood flow to the spinal cord and inner ear. It is well known that vertigo can stem from dysfunction in the spinal column and research has shown that the majority of vertigo sufferers have spinal dysfunction (subluxation- nerve irritation/ altered range of motion) in the neck. One study found that 60% of patients suffering with vertigo who received chiropractic care in combination with conservative medical treatment enjoyed a complete remission, and an additional 20% had consistent improvement. Another study of 67 patients with vertigo found “a highly significant improvement of pathological vestibulospinal reactions was seen after chiropractic.” The chiropractor is concerned on finding and correcting the cause of vertigo, and not just relieving the symptom.
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