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Posts Tagged ‘Balance disorder’

Dizzy

Image by Fitz Villafuerte via Flickr

Vertigo, dizziness, disequilibrium and many other of these types of conditions can be directly related to old head and neck injuries that have never been properly addressed and the underlying damage to the upper neck has led to dysfunction in the ears, the balancing system of the body or both.

When the head or neck is injured the upper neck (Atlas & Axis) frequently become twisted and misaligned leading to a slight displacement of the head…sometimes by as little as 3/4 of a degree.  Once the heavy head (10-14 lbs) is tilting to the side the brain has to compensate for that change through the righting reflex to keep the eyes and ears level with the horizon at all times.

The entire structure of the body will twist and tilt in order to compensate for those upper neck misalignments and head tilt.  Eventually leading to pressure building up into the nerve system.  The area that is first impacted by these problems is the brain stem area, which is just basically a part of the brain that extends down into the spine and connects the the spinal cord.

The brain stem area is a key to the balance of our bodies.  This upper neck area has more pressure sensors the anywhere else in the body that feed information into the brain stem and the brain.  Also the brain stem send messages via the cranial nerves to the ears for balance as well.  Blood flow is also effected when the brain stem function is altered.

When someone is suffering from vertigo, dizziness, or disequilibrium, the brain stem is frequently involved.  Upper neck misalignments alter the brain stem function and lead to these types of problems.  When these old injuries are dealt with by the correction of the head position by a precise upper cervical corrective procedure such as NUCCA, the healing process can begin.

Holding the corrections is the key to healing, not having your spine manipulated 1000’s of times by a general chiropractor!

Now here is an example…Terry is in property management and is also an avid Bicyclist, riding up to 100 miles per week.  When he began to develop vertigo it was about 2 years after he had taken a pretty significant fall from his bike and had a motorcycle accident that seemed to make the dizziness and vertigo attacks much worse.  To the point that he was concerned even about going up on a ladder at one of his rentals.  Here is his story…

I have been suffering from vertigo (dizziness) for 6-7 years, getting more constant as the years progressed.  I tried everything…Every doctor that I could think of, EENT, general doc, vertigo specialist and finally my last hope, a NUCCA doctor.  Dr. Davis helped me almost instantly.  I have not been dizzy for 8 weeks!  Thanks Breath of Life for giving me my health back!!!

Now not all dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium is related to head and neck traumas.  But if you have a history of those types of accidents then an evaluation with a qualified upper cervical specialist is very important.  If the underlying cause can be identified, what a difference it can make for your life!

If you or someone you know is suffering with Vertigo, dizziness or disequilibrium and you are in the Southern California area go to www.nuccawellness.com and schedule an evaluation today.  If you are anywhere else go to www.nucca.org to find a doctor near you.

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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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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