Millions of Americans struggle with vertigo, or the sensation of whirling accompanied by a loss of balance. Disconcerting at best and disabling at worst, physicians often claim that vertigo cannot be cured. Or can it?
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and You
Even though vertigo has several causes, the most common cause is found in a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. You see, balance is just as much about your inner ear as it is about the rest of your body. Your inner ear consists of three fluid-filled chambers called semi-circular canals that monitor your head’s rotation from side to side. The otolith organs in your inner ear monitor movement up and down and often contain crystalline structures suspended in a gel-like fluid. If any of these crystals become dislodged, they can travel to the semi-circular canals and cause dizziness and vertigo. BPPV can also be caused by other problems in the inner ear, mechanical interference in the nerves of your neck or illnesses.
How do you treat BPPV?
One of the most common treatments for BPPV is medication. A mild sedative has been shown to temporarily relieve a person’s symptoms. However, it does nothing to help move the crystal structures back into place nor does it address other problems with the inner ear. While many doctors advise symptom management rather than true treatment of your vertigo, it is difficult to lay down whenever you feel dizzy if you have a job, family responsibilities, or even a social life.
One of the most interesting ways BPPV is treated is through a technique called canalith repositioning. While laying on your back, your doctor helps slowly move your head into several positions that help any crystal structures in your semi-circular canals move to the vestibule where your otolith organs are. Here, these crystals no longer cause vertigo and can be reabsorbed by the body.
When you think about it, chiropractic care is nothing more than removing interference in the nervous system. Using a variety of proven methods, your chiropractor can help move the joints of your body back into place. In doing this, your nerves are free to communicate with your brain. Often patients who are experiencing vertigo can find relief in just a few adjustments.
When your BPPV is not caused by an obvious physical condition, or when your vertigo is caused by a brain injury, neurofeedback is a proven method for reducing your symptoms. In fact, studies have shown improvements in brain function in the areas that are associated with vertigo for up to 12 months after treatment. Yet many people are not familiar with neurofeedback treatment. So simple a child can do it, this type of treatment is designed to teach patients how to control something that was previously outside of their control – their own brain waves. Neurofeedback treatment is non-invasive, painless and some patients even find it fun or relaxing to do.
You do not have to live with vertigo or simply manage your symptoms. Treatments are available to get rid of your vertigo once and for all.