Vertigo - A Problem in the Neck?

Dizziness and vertigo can affect up to 40% of individuals over the age of 40. Often times this can be a debilitating disorder that causes people to miss work, family events, and prevents them from operating motor vehicles. 

While most people relate vertigo to an inner ear disorder, there are many cases where the problem actually originates from the spine, or more specifically, the top part of the neck. 

The joints and muscles in your neck play a huge role when it comes to controlling your overall balance. The muscles and joints in the top part of the spine where the neck meets the skull, are very small and sensitive to changes in movement. If there is a shift in the bony structure of this region it can cause individuals to experience dizziness and vertigo. It can also cause people to feel unbalanced when they’re working out at the gym or playing with their kids.

Vertigo that is caused by structural shifts in the neck is called cervicogenic vertigo. The top two bones of your spine are different from every other spinal bone because they are held in place with muscles and ligaments. The other spinal bones are locked together by multiple joints. If the bones in the neck begin to shift out of place, it can lead to muscle spasm, pinched nerves, and decreased blood flow to the balance centers of the brain. This results in a form of vertigo that is made worse with even small movements of the head and neck region.

The good news is, this problem is often times quite easy to correct. Structural Chiropractors are trained to perform an in-depth analysis of the spine, looking for structural shifts that lead to secondary conditions like vertigo, migraines, neck pain, pinched nerves, weakness, and fatigue. Structural Chiropractors then use the findings from the exam to create a customized plan of care that involves very gentle and specific corrections to the spine, in-office rehabilitation, customized home exercises, ergonomic recommendations, and maintenance strategies to keep you well.