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Everything You Need To Know About Vertigo

Learn what vertigo is, what causes it, and how routine chiropractic care can provide natural relief.

New Patient Special
Blurry lights of a spinning carousel at a fair

Good balance is often taken for granted. Most people don’t find it difficult to walk across an uneven walkway, transition from walking on cement to grass, or get up from a sitting position without stumbling. However, with impaired balance caused by vertigo, normal day-to-day activities can be extremely fatiguing and at times even dangerous.

If you have ever ridden on a spinning fair ride, rolled excitedly down a hill of green grass, or twirled like a ballerina, when the movement stopped you most likely felt unbalanced and dizzy.  Although your body was now motionless the world around you or your body itself felt as though it was still spinning.

This feeling of motion without any physical motion actually being involved is defined as vertigo. Affecting nearly 40% of Americans at least once during their lifetime, vertigo often comes on without warning and can last anywhere from a few seconds to hours, days, or even months.

In the vast majority of cases, the symptoms are harmless but they can drastically affect your quality of life due to the sudden onset of symptoms including nausea, imbalance, and headaches.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with vertigo, there are many natural chiropractic treatments to restore your quality of life by treating the cause behind vertigo, reducing the recurrence of episodes, and restoring the body's sensory function.

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is not a disease. Rather, it's a symptom of varying conditions relating to the central nervous system.

Normally, the brain recognizes that you are moving by integrating signals from your eyes, inner ear, and central nervous system that sense body movement in the neck, back, and limbs. These signals allow the body to compensate for the movement to maintain balance. But with vertigo, the signals become disrupted leaving you with a sense of imbalance and causing a multitude of symptoms.

People with vertigo typically describe it as feeling like they are:

  • Spinning
  • Tilting
  • Swaying
  • Unbalanced
  • Pulled in one direction

Other symptoms that may accompany vertigo can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal or jerking eye movements
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears or hearing loss

A properly functioning central nervous system allows humans to see clearly while moving, determine direction and speed of movement, and make automatic postural adjustments to maintain posture, balance, and stability in multiple conditions and activities.

What is the difference between vertigo and dizziness?

Almost everyone experiences a few seconds of dizziness (spatial disorientation) at some point in their life. For example, getting up too quickly from a lying down position may leave you feeling lightheaded forcing you to sit back down for a moment. However, vertigo, whether lasting only for a few seconds or days on end, is a primary sign of central nervous system vestibular dysfunction (especially when linked to changes in head position).

The vestibular system is a somatosensory portion of the nervous system that provides us with an awareness of the spatial position of our head and body and self-motion. When there is a disruption, your body may sense movement even if no movement has occurred.

By contrast, dizziness can be caused by a vestibular disorder as well as a broad array of numerous cardiovascular, neurological, metabolic, vision, and psychological problems.

What causes vertigo?

Migraine is the most frequent vascular disorder that causes vertigo in all age groups and may occur in up to 25% of patients with migraine.1 However, vertigo can occur due to trauma, injury, aging, and vascular conditions. Other potential causes for vertigo include;

  • nerve compression
  • neurological issues
  • musculoskeletal issues
  • whiplash or other head or neck injuries
  • spondylosis (degeneration of the vertebral column)
  • cervical arthritis
  • infection
  • side effects of medications
  • Menière's disease2 (a rare disease of the inner ear)

Although vertigo symptoms can occur from a multitude of triggers, it is essential to restore central nervous system vestibular function to avoid further injury and/or complications due to potential falls.

Studies show that chiropractic care, specifically spinal adjustment, is helpful in treating balance disorders and cervicogenic dizziness (vertigo caused by migraines and headaches)3-4 which aids in the prevention of injury due to falls.

How can chiropractic care help me?

Chiropractors are trained in all aspects of the human body structure and central nervous system from bones and muscles to nerve and disc health. This allows them to get to the root cause of your vertigo and treat the body as a whole to help prevent further reoccurrences and restore normal vestibular function.

Gentle spinal, neck and whole-body adjustments performed by a licensed chiropractor at Spine Stop Chiropractic allow the body's systems to function correctly by removing blockages, pressure, and inflammation. This allows your body to heal naturally to maintain a properly functioning central nervous system.

Research published in SAGE Journals shows that 95% of people suffering from vertigo due to trauma, neurological, or musculoskeletal issues, and those 65 years of age or older found relief for their symptoms through chiropractic adjustments.5

Chiropractic Benefits for Vertigo Include:

  • Natural, effective relief
  • Strengthens your body’s main support structures
  • Helps prevent future flare-ups
  • Restores movement, mobility, and balance
  • Proactive care to support central nervous system health, blood flow, and overall body wellness
  • Education and lifestyle recommendations to enhance healing, balance, strength, and more

If you or a loved one are suffering from vertigo, our doctors here at Spine Stop Chiropractic can help restore your quality of life and get you back to the activities you love.

Contact us today for a consultation with one of our doctors and discover the natural way to relieve and prevent vertigo symptoms.

We understand that not everyone is familiar with chiropractic care, so all new patients receive a consultation, examination and if necessary, an x-ray. Then our doctors will review your condition and walk you through an easy-to-follow treatment plan that’s unique to you.

There’s no pressure or commitment to go through treatment. Our friendly staff just wants to assess if you could benefit from personalized chiropractic care.

  1. Karatas M. Vascular vertigo: epidemiology and clinical syndromes. Neurologist. 2011 Jan;17(1):1-10. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e3181f09742. PMID: 21192184.
  2. Schmidt PH, Brunsting RC, Antvelink JB. Menière's disease: etiology and natural history. Acta Otolaryngol. 1979 Mar-Apr;87(3-4):410-2. doi: 10.3109/00016487909126442. PMID: 443022.
  3. Holt KR, Haavik H, Elley CR. The effects of manual therapy on balance and falls: a systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012;35:227–234.
  4. Clar C, Tsertsvadze A, Court R, Hundt GL, Clarke A, Sutcliffe P. Clinical effectiveness of manual therapy for the management of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal conditions: systematic review and update of UK evidence report. Chiropr Man Therap. 2014;22:12.
  5. Ndetan H, Hawk C, Sekhon VK, Chiusano M. The Role of Chiropractic Care in the Treatment of Dizziness or Balance Disorders: Analysis of National Health Interview Survey Data. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Apr;21(2):138-42. doi: 10.1177/2156587215604974. Epub 2015 Sep 11. PMID: 26362851.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Calm your nerves with answers to the most commonly asked questions among new patients.

Do I have to be popped during my treatment?

Simply put, no. There are many adjusting techniques chiropractors use to remove nerve interference. Let the doctor know if you're concerned about being "popped."

Does it hurt to be adjusted by a chiropractor?

Most patients report painless adjustments. However, some experience involuntarily stiffness due to resisting the adjustment. This usually stops once they're able to relax.

How long does the average office visit take?

The first visit usually requires 30 to 45 minutes of a new patient's time. The following appointments usually last 10 to 15 minutes.

What's the difference between a chiropractor and a medical doctor?

Chiropractors remove nerve interference by correcting the spine's position. A medical doctor often refers patients to prescription drugs or surgery for pain management.

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