Can Chiropractors Treat Vertigo: Let’s Find Out?

female patient with vertigo symptoms need to see a chiropractor

Vertigo can make you feel like everything is spinning around you, making it hard to keep your balance or do everyday tasks. Many ask, can chiropractors treat vertigo? as they search for ways to handle the dizzy spells affecting their daily lives.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a closer look at how chiropractic care might be the answer to getting your balance back. Keep reading to discover whether chiropractic treatments could help you find your footing again.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is when you feel like you are moving or spinning even when you’re still. It’s like when you spin around fast and stop, but the world keeps turning. This feeling can make you feel sick or lose your balance. It’s not fun and can make doing everyday things hard.

Common Causes

Vertigo isn’t a disease itself but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. Some common causes of vertigo include:

Types of Vertigo

There are mainly two types of vertigo. Knowing which type you have helps in finding the right treatment.

  • Peripheral Vertigo: This type is encountered most frequently. It happens because of problems with the inner ear or vestibular system. The inner ear helps control balance.
  • Central Vertigo: This type is less common. It’s related to problems in the brain, like a stroke or tumor. These issues affect how the brain processes signals about balance and movement.

If you’re experiencing vertigo, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the cause and get proper treatment. But can chiropractors treat vertigo, too?

Do Chiropractors Treat Vertigo?

pain in headache due to vertigo

It plays a crucial role in maintaining balance and proper communication between the brain and body. Misalignments or subluxations in the spine can disrupt this communication, leading to issues like vertigo. Chiropractors specialize in detecting and correcting these misalignments, known as vertebral subluxations.

How Chiropractors Approach Vertigo?

Chiropractors take a holistic approach to treating vertigo, meaning they look at the body as a whole rather than just focusing on symptoms. The first step in chiropractic treatment for vertigo is a thorough examination to identify any misalignments or other issues in the spine.

Once these problem areas are identified, your chiropractor will use gentle adjustments to realign the spine and restore proper function. This can help improve communication between the brain and body, potentially reducing symptoms of vertigo.

Treatments Offered by Chiropractors for Vertigo

thinking to visit a chiropractor for vertigo treatment

Chiropractic care for vertigo focuses on restoring balance and proper function of the spine and nervous system. Here are some of the treatments chiropractors might offer if you’re dealing with vertigo.

1. Spinal Adjustments

One of the primary methods chiropractors use for treating vertigo is spinal adjustments, also known as spinal manipulation.

This process involves the careful yet quick application of pressure to a spinal joint, with the goal of enhancing spinal movement and overall physical health.

For vertigo patients, these adjustments can help lessen the frequency and intensity of dizzy spells by ensuring the spine is properly aligned.

2. Epley Maneuver

Specifically for vertigo cases like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), chiropractors might perform the Epley Maneuver.

This procedure is designed to move calcium deposits out of the canal into an inner ear chamber so they can be absorbed by the body, thus reducing dizziness.

The chiropractor gently moves the patient’s head in different positions to guide the calcium crystals.

3. Vestibular Rehabilitation

Chiropractors may also offer vestibular rehabilitation, which is a type of physical therapy aimed at strengthening the vestibular system.

The vestibular system, consisting of components in the inner ear and brain, manages balance and eye movements by processing sensory data.

Exercises and techniques in vestibular rehabilitation can help improve balance, reduce dizziness, and decrease the likelihood of falls.

4. Lifestyle Advice and Home Exercises

In addition to hands-on treatments, chiropractors often provide lifestyle advice and recommend home exercises that can support treatment and prevent vertigo episodes.

This may include specific exercises to improve balance and coordination, dietary changes to support inner ear health, or strategies to reduce risks in the home that could lead to falls or injuries.

5. Nutritional Counseling

Nutrition plays a significant role in maintaining balance and preventing dizziness.

Chiropractors may offer nutritional counseling to identify and correct any deficiencies that might be contributing to vertigo symptoms.

For example, ensuring adequate intake of vitamins D and B12, magnesium, and staying hydrated can support inner ear conditions and lessen vertigo.

6. Stress Reduction Techniques

Since stress and anxiety can sometimes exacerbate vertigo symptoms, chiropractors may teach stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

Learning to manage stress effectively can have a positive impact on overall well-being and can help reduce the frequency of vertigo episodes.

Evidence and Studies

While there is limited research on the effectiveness of chiropractic care for vertigo specifically, several studies have shown promising results. A 2017 study published in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies found that patients who received chiropractic treatment for BPPV had significant improvements in balance, symptoms, and quality of life.

Another small study from 2009 showed similar outcomes, with patients who received chiropractic adjustments experiencing a reduction in vertigo symptoms and improved balance. However, more research is needed to fully understand the role of chiropractic care in treating vertigo.

Case Study 1: A Long History of Vertigo

A 55-year-old woman presented with chronic vertigo, persisting for over a decade. Previous medical interventions offered minimal relief. The chiropractor actively focuses on spinal adjustments, particularly emphasizing the cervical spine.

After a series of treatments, the patient actively reported a significant reduction in vertigo symptoms, with sustained improvements through regular chiropractic care.

Case Study 2: BPPV Resolution

A 40-year-old man received a diagnosis of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), with debilitating vertigo episodes disrupting his daily life. The chiropractor actively performed the Epley maneuver to reposition the displaced calcium particles in the inner ear.

After a few sessions, the patient actively experienced a notable reduction in vertigo symptoms, and the BPPV was actively resolved.

Though these cases show chiropractic care might help with vertigo, everyone’s experience is different, and we need more research to be sure.

Pros and Cons of Chiropractic Treatment for Vertigo

When considering chiropractic treatment for vertigo, it’s important to weigh both the positives and the negatives. Here’s a simple table that outlines the main pros and cons:

ProsCons
This can lead to overall physical improvements and stress reductionNot as much evidence compared to other treatments
Addresses overall spinal and nervous system healthMay not address the root cause of vertigo in every case
Care tailored to individual needsImprovement over time; not a quick fix
It may not be covered by all insurance plansIt may not be suitable for all types of vertigo
Some patients may experience immediate relief after treatmentAdjustments may cause temporary discomfort or soreness
Encourages the body’s natural healing processesMay not be suitable for all types of vertigo
Pros and Cons of Chiropractic Care for Vertigo Treatment

Although chiropractic care offers a non-invasive and holistic approach to treating vertigo and can be customized to fit individual health needs, its effectiveness varies. The limited research available makes it a less proven option compared to more traditional treatments.

How to Choose the Right Chiropractor for Vertigo Treatment?

Choosing the right chiropractor for vertigo treatment is important. Here are simple tips to help you pick:

  • Ask for Recommendations: Talk to friends or family who’ve been to a chiropractor. They can tell you about their experience.
  • Check Qualifications: Make sure the chiropractor has the right training and license.
  • Experience with Vertigo: Look for someone who has treated vertigo before.
  • Ask About Techniques: Different chiropractors use different methods. Find one that uses approaches you’re comfortable with.
  • Insurance Coverage: Check if your insurance will cover the treatment.
  • Meet Before Treatment: Have a chat with the chiropractor first. Make sure you feel comfortable with them.
  • Read Reviews: Look online for what other people say about the chiropractor. This can help you get an idea of their reputation.

FAQs

Is chiropractic treatment safe for vertigo?

Yes, in general, chiropractic treatment is considered safe. Nevertheless, like other medical treatments, it carries certain risks. It’s important to talk to your chiropractor and discuss any concerns you may have before beginning treatment.

How long does it take to see improvements?

The length of time it takes for improvements to be seen can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their condition. Some patients may experience immediate relief, while others may require multiple sessions before seeing significant improvement.

Are there any side effects from chiropractic adjustments for vertigo?

While most patients report feeling relief and improved overall well-being after chiropractic adjustments, some may experience temporary discomfort or soreness. This typically settles quickly, usually within 1-2 days.

Can chiropractic treatment completely cure vertigo?

Chiropractors do not claim to “cure” vertigo but rather aim to address underlying issues that may be contributing to symptoms and improve overall spinal and nervous system health.

Final Thoughts

Chiropractors can treat vertigo by addressing its potential causes through a range of exercises, nutritional counseling, and stress-reduction techniques tailored to the patient’s specific needs.

While the evidence supporting chiropractic treatment for vertigo is still growing, many find relief from their symptoms and improvements in their overall health through this holistic approach. If vertigo is impacting your life, it may be worth exploring chiropractic care as a viable option.

For further insights into how chiropractic treatments can enhance your well-being, read our other blog posts on chiropractic care.

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