When Vertigo Strikes


What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a symptom rather than a condition itself. It’s the sensation that you or the environment around you are moving or spinning. This feeling may be barely noticeable or so severe that you find it difficult to keep your balance and do everyday tasks. It most commonly occurs when there is an issue with the inner ear but can also develop from other diseases or illnesses.

The Types of Vertigo

There are two main types of vertigo: peripheral and central.

Peripheral vertigo is the most common type. It happens when there’s an issue with your inner ear or vestibular nerve. Both help with your sense of balance.

Subtypes of peripheral vertigo include:

Central vertigo is less common. It occurs when you have a condition affecting your brain, like an infection, stroke, or traumatic brain injury. People with central vertigo usually have more severe symptoms like severe instability or difficulty walking.

Symptoms of Vertigo

Individuals with vertigo often describe the following sensations and symptoms:

  • spinning
  • tilting/leaning
  • swaying
  • feeling off balance
  • pulling in one direction
  • experiencing dizziness or lightheadedness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • abnormal or jerky eye movements
  • headache (normally one that is different than headaches experienced previously)
  • sweating
  • ringing in the ears/hearing loss

Diagnosis of Vertigo

There are several varying types of tests that can help your healthcare provider determine and diagnose vertigo. These tests may include:

  • Fukuda-Unterberger test. Your healthcare provider will ask you to march in place for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. If you rotate or lean to one side, it could mean that you have an issue with your inner ear labyrinth. This could cause vertigo.
  • Romberg’s test. During this assessment, your healthcare provider will ask you to close your eyes while standing with your feet together and your arms at your side. If you feel unbalanced or unsteady, it could mean that you have an issue with your central nervous system (your brain or spinal cord).
  • Head impulse test. For this test, your healthcare provider will gently move your head to each side while you focus your eyes on a stationary target (for example a spot on the wall or your provider’s nose). As they move your head, they will pay close attention to your eye movements. This can tell them if there is an issue with the balance system in your inner ear.
  • Vestibular test battery. This includes several different tests to check the vestibular portion of your inner ear system. A vestibular test battery can help determine whether your symptoms are a result of an inner ear issue or a brain issue.
  • Imaging tests: These may include CT (computed tomography) scans or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Treatments for Vertigo

Vertigo treatment depends on the underlying cause of it. Some treatments may include:

  • Repositioning exercises– the Epley maneuver is a series of head movements that reposition calcium crystals in the ears known as canaliths, which can detach, causing incorrect signals to be relayed to the brain.
  • Vertigo medication-motion sickness medication may help in some cases of acute (sudden onset, short duration) vertigo. 
  • Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (vertigo exercises) usually involves a range of exercises to improve common vertigo symptoms like dizziness, unstable vision, and balance issues.
  • Surgery would be a treatment if a tumor or other injury is found to be the cause of the vertigo.
  • Acupressure bands may be helpful in relieving symptoms of dizziness by applying pressure on the P6 (Nei Kuan) acupressure point on each wrist – Measure three finger widths down from the base of your wrist and press down for 2-3 minutes. You can even move your finger in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help You If You Are Experiencing Vertigo

At Vaida Wellness, Dr. Lydia and Dr. Rachael are trained in the Epley maneuver, which consists of four different head positions held for 30 seconds each. Chiropractic adjustments also help return the upper cervical spine to proper alignment, which may reposition the neck back to its optimal position, putting a stop to dizziness. 

Give us a call if you would like to be evaluated for your vertigo and to see if you are a candidate for the Epley maneuver. For general chiropractic appointments, call or use our convenient online scheduler.

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