Upper Cervical Care is Ideal For Dizziness & Vertigo
Dr. Jill Smith and Dr. Jeffrey Fowler have helped hundreds of patients recover from dizziness and vertigo. It is not commonly known, but a large reason that people experience vertigo has to do with misalignments in the upper neck. Our upper cervical chiropractors not only treat it successfully, but they truly understand the roots of this frustrating and debilitating condition.
The Origin of the Problem
Dizziness and vertigo are prevalent conditions. These conditions are commonly attributed to originating from issues in the eyes or inner ears. Therefore, common treatment is focused on either the eyes or inner ears. However, dizziness and vertigo often originate from issues in the upper neck. Therefore, many patients receiving treatment for the incorrect source of their symptoms will continue to suffer.
The upper neck is a common site of origin for dizziness and vertigo because the neck affects the body’s balance system. The balance system refers to the entire group of structures and nerves that provide the information needed to experience balance and orientation. There are three main senses that are part of this system.
Eyesight provides about 10% of the information about orientation to the environment. Eyesight helps a person get their bearings in relationship to the environment. However, the balance system can adapt without eyesight. Even blind people can have exceptional balance without experiencing dizziness.
The inner ears have specially designed semicircular canals that fluid flows through. These canals have small stones that move with the flow of the fluid. When the head moves, the fluid flow moves these stones. This motion produces a nerve signal that tells the brainstem that the head is moving. These signals are designed to tell the brain where the head is and how fast it is moving in any given direction. These inner ear semicircular canals provide about 20% of all information needed for balance.
There are special nerves that are located throughout the entire body called proprioceptors which tell the brain how the body is positioned. The information from these nerves provide a spatial awareness. About 70% of the information in the balance system comes from these proprioceptors. The most sensitive proprioceptive area of the body are in the muscles and joints of the upper neck because these proprioceptors tell the brain where the head is positioned.
These three nerve signal inputs (the eyes, inner ears and proprioceptors) all send their signals to a structure called the vestibular nucleus, which is the balance center of the body. This vestibular nucleus is located in the brainstem, between the base of the brain and top of the neck in an area called the craniocervical junction.
In order to feel balanced, the three signal inputs need to match. While standing upright, the information from the eyes need to match the joint position sensors of the neck. If the head is tilted, the eyes and neck joint proprioceptors should be telling the vestibular nucleus that your head is tilted the same amount. If the head is turned to the right, the proprioceptors and inner ears should send the same information about how far the neck has turned. If the signals match, balance is maintained even throughout head or body motion.
However, if there is a mismatch of these nerve signals, a person will experience a sense of dizziness. For example, if the eyesight says that the head is straight with the horizon, but the proprioceptors say it is tilted to the side, that person will feel dizzy. If the upper neck proprioceptors send signals telling the balance center that the head turned 10 degrees to the left, but the inner ears send signals saying it is 20 degrees to the left, that person will feel dizzy. If the mismatch is bad enough, it can become as severe as vertigo.
Locating the Origin
In order to find the root of the dizziness, it is critical to identify the location of the signal problem. Once the origin of the problem is identified, if can be successfully corrected. Since proprioceptors play the largest role in our sense of balance (up to 70% of the information), this is a critical place to start. Due to the sensitive nature of these upper neck bones and nerves, the most critical area to examine is the craniocervical junction. Unfortunately, many balance clinics and EENT providers do not evaluate or treat this critical area. This is where upper cervical care come in.
Correcting the Root Cause
Many people suffering from dizziness and vertigo have a misalignment in their craniocervical junction leading to improper proprioception in their balance center. Many of these people suffer for years before having their craniocervical junction evaluated.
At Citrus Regional Clinic of Chiropractic, our cervical chiropractors are uniquely trained to evaluate and correct misalignments of the craniocervical junction. A unique neurological examination will be performed and specific images of the upper neck are taken to evaluate the craniocervical junction. If a misalignment is found causing nerve signal interference, our upper cervical doctor carefully corrects the misalignment using extremely gentle and precise corrective procedure called Advanced Orthogonal. This allows the proprioceptive signals to return to normal and the sense of balance to begin to improve. Upper cervical care has been shown to help many people with dizziness and balance issues.
How To Get Started
Our chiropractic clinic is located in Inverness, FL. If you suffer from dizziness or vertigo and would like to see if you are a candidate for care, please call the office at (352) 344-1300. We will schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Jill Smith or Dr. Jeffrey Fowler. This initial visit will include specific set of X-ray of your upper neck. Depending on your case, additional imaging may be necessary. If you are a candidate for care, your doctor will tailor a plan, sit down and explain your care, and start the correction process. We care about you, we understand you want the root of the problem corrected, and we are here to help.
Yacovino DA, Hain TC. Clinical characteristics of cervicogenic-related dizziness and vertigo. Semin Neurol. 2013 Jul;33(3):244-55. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1354592. Epub 2013 Sep 21. PMID: 24057828.
Miller JA, Hosek MS, Rectenwald R, Sliver J, Pierce Sr. GS. Improved Stability Measured by Posturography Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care. J Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research. 2018 Oct;33-45.