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Archive for the ‘Meniere’s Disease’ Category

human ear anatomy with detailed diagram
Image via Wikipedia

Meniere’s Disease, Cochlear Hydrops, Tinnitus, hearing loss, chronic ear infections and even vertigo can frequently be related to trauma to the nerves from the upper neck (lower brain stem area) that go into the ears.  Upper neck trauma can lead to a variety of different ear problems due to the neurological connection.  Dr. Michael Burcon in Michigan has done excellent work in researching the connection between the upper neck and conditions like Meniere’s Disease, tinnitus, vertigo and others.

Burcon has established a link to these conditions with whiplash injuries that misalign the base of the skull with the top of the neck creating a lesion affecting the Eustachian tube. About half of these traumas are caused by car crashes and the other half from injuries involving head trauma. Burcon believes that the correlation was not made because it takes an average of fifteen years from the time the patient was injured until the onset of symptoms.

Patients typically get diagnosed with these conditions in middle age. Their injuries most often happened during high school or college years from a car accident, sports injury or fall on their heads. Few patients list these old injuries on their doctor’s admission paper work. In fact, they have often forgotten about them, believing they were not hurt if they were not admitted to the hospital.
It is possible to have fewer than the four classic symptoms of Meniere’s Disease (hearing loss, fullness, tinnitus, and vertigo) yet be diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease; this is sometimes said to be “atypical” Meniere’s Disease.  Some Meniere’s Disease patients experience hearing loss, fullness, and tinnitus with no vertigo at all, a condition sometimes described as “cochlear hydrops.”

That is the situation with one of our recent patients.  Will had been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops by his EENT and told that it would continue to get worse and there wasn’t much he could do about it.  After reading an article that I wrote about upper cervical and Meniere’s disease, he found some hope.  After his initial 6 weeks of care Will had noticed a 90% improvement in his ear symptoms and chronic neck pain!

When the cause is addressed amazing recovery can take place.  But the cause has to be identified and addressed.

Have you been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops, Meniere’s, vertigo or other ear related conditions?

Have you ever had your upper neck thoroughly evaluated to see if the underlying cause could be there?

In Southern California give us a call 760-945-1345 or go to www.nuccawellness.com

Anywhere else in the world go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.org

Correct the cause and end the suffering!
Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

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Cervical spine in X-ray, lateral view

Image via Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia…”Ménière’s cannot be cured, treatments focus more on addressing symptoms.”

From a medical perspective Meniere’s Disease is an incurable condition.  Once you have it, you always will and it will only get worse.  But from an Upper Cervical Chiropractic perspective the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease are frequently eliminated or significantly reduced when the upper neck misalignment is corrected. 

Why is there such a different perspective?

It really goes to the basics of chiropractic philosophy versus medical philosophy.

Chiropractic philosophy teaches that the body is designed to be healthy and if there is a problem with the body then there is a cause of that problem.  Medical philosophy comes from mechanistic and reductionistic viewpoint that says the whole is the sum of the parts only and that are bodies are not designed but evolved.  The medical answer is to cover up the symptoms or the effects of the problem with drugs rather than address the underlying cause or perform surgery to remove parts that are deemed unnecessary (i.e. appendix, tonsils etc.).

So what does this have to do with Meniere’s disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Meniere’s, then you have been struggling with a combination of symptoms, classically vertigo or dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus or ringing in the ear.  Now most people are going to be struggling with these symptoms for some time before there are diagnosed.  And once diagnosed the medical doctor will must likely tell you that they can try to control the symptoms as much as possible with drugs or possibly surgery.

Most people today once they go home from the doctor with a label the first thing that they will do is google Meniere’s Disease and get info from places like  National Institute of health, Wikipedia and a variety of other websites outlining the condition.  Looking at the NIH’s website in all that bleak information there will be one mention of head injury as a possible cause (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001721/) but no mention of what to do about the head injury that may have caused the condition.

Head injury affects the alignment of the upper cervical spine (upper neck).  Once the upper neck is misaligned pressure begins to develop into the all important nerves at the base of the brain.  This brain stem pressure can lead to vertigo, hearing loss, ringing the ears and many other conditions.

If someone was to Google Meniere’s Disease and the Upper Neck a very different picture would be found.

One of hope, healing and the logical connection of the head or neck trauma to the onset of the symptoms and how once the underlying head and neck injuries are healed the symptoms of Meniere’s go away or are greatly reduced.

So do yourself a favor if you have been diagnosed with Meniere’s…don’t just look at the medical perspective but look into the best kept secret in health…Upper Cervical Chiropractic and seek the cause of the problem.

To find out more about upper cervical chiropractic go to www.nuccawellness.com.

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Carlsbad Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

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Meniere’s Disease is defined by www.mayoclinic.com as a disorder of the inner ear that causes spontaneous episodes of vertigo along with fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.   

Vertigo is the most distressing symptom of Meniere’s disease. Vertigo is a sensation of rotation or spinning. The vertigo can last from ten minutes to 24 hours. It may also be associated with nausea and/or vomiting. After the vertigo has gone away, most patients have imbalance and fatigue for one or two days until returning to normal.  Hearing loss is also an associated symptom of Meniere’s disease. Hearing loss usually fluctuates. In most cases hearing loss is only in one ear, but in rare instances, hearing loss can be in both ears. The hearing loss is typically in the low tones. If left untreated, hearing can drop until there is permanent loss in that ear. Pressure and/or fullness in the diseased ear are another complaint. This can occur before or during an attack. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, can also occur. This is often a result of the hearing loss.  

Some famous people thought to have Meniere's include Alan Shephard, Vincent VanGogh, Martin Luther, General Robert E Lee, Jonathan Swift and Julius Caesar.

Most normal individuals cannot appreciate the devastating impact of vertigo. The patient perceives that the world is spinning around them. Vertigo disrupts every aspect of life since the patient loses the ability to do anything normally, especially when movement is involved. It can totally incapacitate the individual, often confining them to bed. 

The Merck Manual states that the cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown; the pathophysiology is poorly understood, and the treatment empirical. Idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops is used interchangeably with Meniere’s disease in the literature. “What would cause an over production of endolymphatic fluid?” 

A theory proposed in the Upper Cervical Chiropractic community is that the most common cause of Meniere’s disease is a structural problem, i.e., an atlas (top bone in the neck) misalignment that is irritating the origin of a nerve that controls both equilibrium and hearing in the ear (Cranial Nerve VIII).  Misalignment between the atlas and Occiput can cause swelling in the immediate area, putting pressure on the nucleus of CN VIII and/or the auditory (Eustachian) tube.  Recently Dr. Michael Burcon investigated the effects of upper cervical specific chiropractic management of one hundred and thirty-nine patients medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease.  

After upper cervical specific chiropractic care, one hundred and thirty-six out of the one hundred and thirty-nine patients presented with an absence or dramatic reduction of symptoms, especially vertigo…that’s 97%!. After two years, on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing the absence of the symptom and 10 being the worst imaginable, vertigo was lowered from an average of 8.5 to 1.4.  Prior to the onset of symptoms, all one hundred and thirty nine cases suffered cervical traumas; most from automobile accidents, resulting in previously undiagnosed whiplash injuries.                  

These improvements made a significant difference for 135 out of 139 patients, effecting whether or not they could work, drive and/or have a positive relationship with their spouse.  They might get dizzy, but would not have vertigo. They might get nausea, but would no longer vomit. For those that still had attacks, they occurred less often, lasted for a shorter duration and were not as intense. Recovery time was also significantly shorter. 

 Here an Example from Dr. Burcon’s study of a Typical Case History with Results  

 “Jack first presented with left-sided Meniere’s on June 11, 2001. He was diagnosed by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist based on the results of a normal MRI of the brain, positive audiological examination for hearing loss, and an abnormal bithermal caloric test (ENG). He was referred to the Michigan Ear Institute, where endolymphatic sac decompression surgery was recommended. He declined surgery and received a letter recommending that he apply for disability benefits, which were granted by the State of Michigan. 

Case history included a rear ended type of automobile accident at 45 mph in 1980. Meniere’s symptoms started in 1994 with frequent bouts of vertigo lasting from one day to one week, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Complaints included constant ear fullness and tinnitus, and frequent neck pain and headaches. 

Jack presented with a 1” short left leg relative to his right.  The next week he presented with his legs balanced and was vertigo free. His wife said that his voice had changed. He reported being able to walk four times as far.  At six weeks, according to his Meniere’s questionnaire, vertigo was down to 2 from 10, nausea/vomiting down to 0 from 10 and ear pressure 1 from 10 (10 being the worst possible). He went just over one year with no vertigo.”

 All patients with a history of vertigo or dizziness should be questioned about a history of trauma, especially whiplash from an automobile accident, contact sports injury, or serious falls. Patients often forget these accidents, thinking that they were not hurt because they did not break any bones and were not bleeding. Patients with a history of both vertigo and trauma should be referred to an upper cervical specific chiropractor for examination.

To find an upper cervical specialist in your area go to www.upcspine.com or if you are in the San Diego County area and are suffering with Meniere’s or Vertigo…call my office to arrange an evaluation…go to www.nuccawellness.com for more info. 

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Carlsbad Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com  

References: 

http://www.burconchiropractic.com/g5-bin/client.cgi?G5button=626&subcategoryID=2355 

Cervical Specific Protocol and Results for 139 Meniere’s Patients, Michael T. Burcon, B.Ph., D.C. 

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Meniere’s disease is a triad of symptoms that affects one ear…hearing loss, vertigo and ringing in the ear.  This condition can be debilitating.  In Dave’s case the vertigo was so severe that he was having a hard time driving.  The ringing in his ears was driving him crazy and the hearing loss was so severe that he was unable to hear his 2 year old daughter crying in the night if he was laying on his good ear.  Here is his story…

“I had been diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease which included vertigo attacks, dizzy spells, ringing in the ear and fullness in the ear and hearing loss.  Since beginning care at Breath of Life Chiropractic all symptoms have improved.  The vertigo has stopped and the dizzy spells have diminished significantly.  The ringing in the ear and head has gone away completely!  The fullness sensation and hearing loss have also improved.  As an added bonus the lower back pain that I had suffered from for over 10 years has completely gone away! 

The NUCCA method is not a magic bullet treatment…your body needs time to heal.  But even three months into care I am still seeing positive changes in my health and life.  The personal relationship that has developed with Dr. Davis has been great.  It is very reassuring that someone else is so interested in my well being!  Thank you…Dr. Davis!”

David N.

Meniere’s Disease is a complex condition that many people struggle to find any answers for…the upper cervical spine has a unique connection to the function of the ear and many people have found the help that they need through upper cervical care.

Tell a Friend today…760-945-1345  www.nuccawellness.com

For more info about upper cervical and Meniere’s Disease check out these links… http://drtanase.com/2010/03/04/do-you-have-menieres-disease/ 

http://theatlasoflife.com/2010/01/20/from-menieres-disease-to-upper-cervical-an-interview-with-dr-kevin-broome/

http://www.erinelster.com/ConditionsDetail.aspx?ConditionID=9

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