Vertigo and dizziness are common after auto injuries. A new study shows how chiropractic can help.
Chiropractic Cures Vertigo Dizziness
Vertigo is dizziness caused by the inaccurate perception of motion resulting from dysfunction of the vestibular system. Often, it is associated with balance disorders, and causes difficulties standing or walking, along with nausea and other symptoms. Patients may feel that objects in the environment are moving, or that they themselves are moving, when neither is the case. This is a common medical condition, estimate to affect up to 20-30% of people at some point during their lifetime.
Chiropractic care has been suggested as one potential treatment for vertigo. A recent study sought to examine the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, one form of vertigo.
The case study involved eight patients with persistent vertigo. The patients underwent one or more Epley maneuver treatments (canalith repositioning procedures). Outcome measures, which includes self-reported vertigo symptoms and a health survey, were assessed before treatment and at six days, one month, and three months following treatment.
All eight patients reported a reduction in vertigo symptoms following chiropractic intervention, including reductions in the severity, duration, and frequency of their symptoms. They also reported lower pain and disability, as well as increased quality of life, following treatment. The participants reported full resolution of their vertigo symptoms an average of approximately eight days following the initial treatment. This suggests that chiropractic care could be an effective treatment for vertigo.
But vertigo isn’t the only type of dizziness chiropractors treat. Earlier studies have shown that chiropractic treatments can also ease cervicogenic dizziness caused by dysfunctions in the cervical spine.
Chiropractic Effective for Dizziness, Study Confirms
An estimated 11-28% of adults suffer from chronic dizziness —a never-ending feeling of spinning, unsteadiness, and disorientation. These symptoms are common in patients with headache, neck pain, and whiplash-associated disorders.
Fortunately, a growing body of research suggests that manual therapies like chiropractic can reduce cervicogenic dizziness.
This specific type of dizziness is believed to originate in the cervical spine or neck. The neck plays an important role in the body’s postural control: your neck is full of muscle spindles that act as sensory receptors working with a variety of reflexes to stabilize the head, eyes, and posture. Injury or disorders in the neck may disrupt the body’s sensory system, resulting in cervical vertigo. Treating disorders in the neck can help restore the body’s sensory capabilities to reduce symptoms of dizziness.
A recent literature review analyzes the available research on the efficacy of spinal adjustments, soft-tissue mobilization, and other manual therapies for treating dizziness.1
In a 2008 study, researchers compared a specific type of spinal mobilization to a placebo.2Although placebo patients did improve, the patients receiving spinal mobilization experienced additional improvements in decreased dizziness frequency. They also had significantly reduced dizziness severity, disability, and neck pain at both the 6 and 12-week follow-ups.
The literature review also showed that other manual therapies, notably spinal adjustments and soft-tissue mobilization, produced similar improvements in several studies.
In addition to minimizing dizziness symptoms, two studies showed that spinal adjustments were found to improve blood flow in the arteries of the neck, which is believed to produce therapeutic effects.3-4 Another two studies found that spinal adjustments led to measurable improvements in balance.5-6
Some case studies suggested that combining manual therapies with vestibular rehabilitation could prove to be more superior than manual therapy alone. Vestibular rehabilitation can include a variety of mental and physical exercises, occupational therapy, restoring balance sense, and eye training. While cases studies point to promising results with combined treatment, there are still no experimental or observational studies on the combined effects of manual therapies and rehabilitation. The authors recommended that future research examine the potential benefits of combined treatment, and determine the dose requirements of manual therapies for dizziness.
This literature reviews confirms that chiropractic and other manual therapies can reduce cervicogenic dizziness for many patients. Chiropractors can also provide natural treatment for related symptoms of cervicogenic headache and migraine.