If we feel physically off balance or the world seems to move around us, we have a problem with dizziness. Dizziness causes some people to experience slight environmental movements while more extreme symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, visual problems, difficulty walking and ear pressure. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, the bottom line is that people can’t function well when they don’t feel upright and balanced.
There are essentially four types of “dizziness”: Feeling lightheaded, feeling faint, feeling off balance with a sense of disequilibrium and experiencing vertigo, a sensation that feels as though the world is spinning around us. While the inner ear frequently plays a role in such problems, cervical factors may be present in all types of dizziness. Disequilibrium and vertigo are most commonly helped via upper cervical care, but upper cervical care can be helpful to people with any of the four types of dizziness.
The spine plays an essential role in helping the body maintain a sense of equilibrium and balance. Several studies have determined that cervicogenic vertigo occurs when joints in the upper neck are irritated (another type of vertigo, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is caused by problems in the inner ear). These joints are essential in coordinating eye, head and body movements as well as controlling posture and helping determine spatial orientation, so it’s little surprise that stress on these joints can result in vertigo. Though trauma-induced vertigo may take months or years to develop, upper cervical care can help the spine to move a function more normally which can often result in a lessening or complete resolution of the vertigo associated with this type of injury. The cervical spine must be fully functioning in order for patients to completely recover from cervicogenic vertigo.
Propriosensory retraining—a system designed to retrain the locomotor system and sense of balance, has been helpful as well and some practitioners also offer this in addition to upper cervical care. A holistic healing approach that encompasses upper cervical care is essential for a full recovery for both disequilibrium and cervicogenic vertigo.
(Editor's note: Remember the objective of upper cervical care is to correct head neck misalignment that is interfering with proper brain to body communication. When this is corrected the body functions at a higher level and can often correct other problems more efficiently on its own. Please do not confuse upper cervical care as a treatment for any condition, disease or symptom.)
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