Saturday, November 7, 2009

Case 3: Upper Cervical Care and Meniere's Disease


by Michael T. Burcon, D.C.

HISTORY: Thirty five year old female presented with history of vertigo, swallowing difficulties, nausea, cervicalgia, cephalgia, double vision, occasional deafness, weakness and fatigue since 1996. She was working part-time out of her home, unable to drive or go anywhere. She reported having a minor car accident in 1991.

Diagnosed with Meniere's disease, TMJ dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis and Arnold-Chiari malformation. Prescriptions included Duricef, Retin-A, Benzymicin and Antivert. Her father had been diagnosed with Becker's muscular dystrophy.

EXAMINATION: Leg checks demonstrated 1" right pelvic negative, 1" left cervical syndrome and positive C1 and C5 tests. Restricted range of motion with left lateral flexion. X-rays, video fluoroscopy and MRIs showed atlas to be inferior and posterior on left articulation, under lapped on the right, and inferior and posterior C5 and C6. Thermograph showed pattern of a break to the left at levels of C1 and C5.

INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: Within 24 hours of first specific atlas adjustment, all symptoms had subsided, except dysphagia, which had gotten worse. All balance tests were negative and cervical thermograph was straighter. Full cervical range of motion was restored.

Atlas adjustment has been repeated when pattern of subluxation has returned, a total of six times in the past two years. The swallowing problem has persisted.


  1. Thank you so much for your case studies on Meniere's. I live in St. Louis, I'm 38 years old and have been suffering with Meniere's for 3 years. I have just discovered upper cervical care--even though I'm a registered nurse and have seen a regular chiropractor, several ENTs, and and a neurotologist for my condition. I just had my second adjustment today. The only symptom I'm still having is low volume ringing in my affected ear. My doctor said that should resolve as well. Can you tell me how long it usually takes for the ringing to resolve? Thanks,

  2. Thanks for the comment Robin. I am glad to hear that you have found something that has produced results for you. As far as how long it will take the ringing to resolve there really is no answer to that unfortunately. It could be a matter of a few days yet or a few months. Typically, the rule of thumb is that if the upper neck was the only cause contributing to the problem (most things are multifactorial however) than figure about one month for every year you have had the problem. This is a generality of course but seems to be pretty consistent clinically. You must remember that since upper cervical care is not a treatment for any condition in particular but instead is removing/correcting something that is interferring with normal function it is simply allowing the body to heal more efficiently again. Because of this the body will heal at whatever rate it can. The longer you maintain your adjustment/correction most likely the quicker you will get better, all other things being equal. Hope this helps and thanks again for the comment, I am glad that I could be of service.

  3. Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

  4. a claim for Meniere's would not stand in a court of law for any whiplash patient claiming those symptoms. Most vertiguous symptoms would normally be resolved within 45 days. I'm not sure as to the exaxt causes of Meniere's as I don't believe there are any. However, examples of acustic trauma and sinus problems are possible direct etiologies to the disease. Cervical spinal problems elicit pain in the patient, possible headaches and associated nausea from that but not from a relationship to meniere's. Dive in a little deeper. I've had Meniere's now for 12 years but I've had most of the symptoms since 1983 from military duty exposure to loud noise. I was looking for possible links to Meniere's as it relates to Cervicalgia, but it is clear the evidence presented her is pretty much hearsay. Thanks


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