Vertigo, or the symptom that benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) causes, is the sensation that one’s head or surroundings are moving or spinning. Its severity ranges from very minor and barely noticeable to periods of intense dizziness that could cause the inability to perform everyday tasks. Vertigo is usually triggered by movements of the head, such as tipping the head, lying down, or sitting up from lying down. Other than dizziness, vertigo can mean having a sense that you or your surroundings are spinning, feeling unsteady, falling, and even nausea and vomiting.
How Does Vertigo Happen?
BPPV can arise because of a head injury, or less commonly, conditions that damage the inner ear. The vestibular labyrinth is a small organ located in the inner ear and has fluid and very fine sensors that monitor the head’s rotation. The otolith organs in the ear also monitor the head’s movements and it’s position relative to gravity through crystals, or canaliths, inside the utricle that maintain your sensitivity to gravity. When these crystals become dislodged for one reason or another, they can move into the vestibular labyrinth, causing a heightened sensitivity to head position changes that it would not normally respond to, creating the dizziness. The biggest risk of BPPV is the chance of falling due to the dizziness one experiences. BPPV occurs most often in people over the age of fifty but can arise at any age.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
Chiropractic care can help reduce the symptoms that come with vertigo by maneuvering the crystals in your ear in attempt to getting them back into the right position. Manual traction therapy of the cervical spine and passive assisted range of motion therapy helps to relax tense and spasmed cervical muscles in the neck and throat, which often helps speed up the recovery process from BPPV. If your symptoms become suddenly severe and you begin to experience dizziness or vertigo along with a new intense headache, a fever, blurred vision, loss of vision or hearing, or anything else unusual, you should seek emergency medical care right away.