Learning the Basics of Vertigo to Get the Right Care

December 15, 2019|Vertigo / Dizziness| by Harrison Salisbury

learning-the-basics-of-vertigo-to-get-the-right-careVertigo is a common symptom that my patients are dealing with when they come to my vertigo chiropractic clinic near West Jordan, UT. It frequently occurs due to a problem within the vestibular system, which controls the body’s balance.

Some people use the term “vertigo” to refer to a fear of heights (acrophobia). However, here’s its true definition: Vertigo is a false feeling of movement of either you or your surroundings. To describe it best, it can be a sensation of spinning or moving vertically or horizontally. 

Over the past ten years, about 26 million people in the United States visited an emergency room because of vertigo or dizziness, a study revealed. 

The inner ear, the vestibular nerve, and the brainstem are the main body parts involved in detecting and regulating our posture and balance. For this reason, it is vital to care for these structures to reduce vertigo attacks. 

Vertigo Causes

Vertigo is often a symptom of an underlying condition. Several disorders can cause vertigo and imbalance problems. Below are some of them.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is frequently the source of vertigo in many patients. It occurs when tiny calcium deposits – the otoliths – get stuck in any of the three semicircular canals of the inner ear. The inner ear is a key part of the vestibular system. 

People who have BPPV can experience short-lived vertigo attacks when they make specific head movements. For example, when they roll over in bed, turn their head fast, or bend over to pick an object from the ground. Fortunately, it lasts for less than a minute.

Meniere’s Disease

This condition happens due to an imbalance of fluids in the inner ear. Meniere’s brings about episodes of vertigo that last for a few minutes to a couple of hours. Feeling pressure in the ears (aural fullness), fluctuating hearing loss at low tones, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) are some of the symptoms of Meniere’s disease. 

Bacterial and Viral Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is a result of an infection in the inner ear, and it can bring about episodes of vertigo that persist for hours to days. 

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

Several neurological disorders also have vertigo as a symptom, such as the following:

  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Brain tumors
  • Strokes
  • TIAs (transient ischemic attacks)

Even non-neurological conditions may also cause vertigo:

  • Medication side effects
  • Hyperventilation
  • Diabetes
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Psychiatric or emotional problems (anxiety and panic attacks)
  • Orthostatic hypotension (the sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand up)

Vertigo Symptoms

In general, vertigo episodes occur occasionally and come on without warning. However, some people experience chronic episodes of vertigo. The attacks may last less than a minute or sometimes may last a few days at a time. A wide range of symptoms may accompany vertigo, including the following:

  • Feeling faint
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness or weakness 
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus — ringing in the ears
  • Nystagmus — abnormal eye movements
  • Oscillopsia — visual disturbances
  • Diplopia — a blurry vision
  • Diaphoresis — sweating
  • Ataxia gait — difficulty walking
  • Dysarthria — slurred speech or problems talking

If you experience a few or all of these symptoms more often than usual, you must consult your doctor and give a precise, detailed description of your symptoms for an accurate diagnosis. 

Vertigo Diagnosis 

Since vertigo is just a symptom of an underlying condition, patients must undergo a series of tests to check the functions of the following systems in the body: 

  • Vestibular system (inner ear)
  • Somatosensory system (the flex and pressure sensors in your feet)
  • Visual system (eyes)

The objective of these tests is to find out if these systems are working perfectly or if they are the source of your symptoms. The tests may have three different categories:

  • Positional or positioning: Your vestibular system is the target of the tests. The doctor may ask you to move your head and your body to determine how your vestibular system responds to the movements and changes in gravity. 
  • Calorics: The doctor will put a cool and warm air into the ear canal of your two ears to gauge the function of your vestibular system. After that, the doctor will compare how your vestibular system reacts in each ear. You may notice a slight sensation of movement when the test begins, but it will go away eventually.
  • Oculomotor: The visual system for balance is called the oculomotor system. The test examines voluntary eye movements when you do exercises while gazing at a dot on a light bar. 

Resolving the Spinning Sensation of Vertigo

Many traditional care techniques for vertigo have been providing relief for vertigo symptoms, such as the Epley maneuver. The maneuver requires a patient to lie or sit in varying positions to restore the body’s sense of balance. However, vertigo does not end for some patients as most of the traditional care for vertigo only addresses the symptoms, not the root cause of the problem. 

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help

This is what makes upper cervical chiropractic an effective, lasting relief option for vertigo, as backed by this study. Upper cervical chiropractic realigns the topmost bones of the neck the C1 and C2 vertebrae if one is out of alignment. A misalignment in either of these bones can put the brainstem under pressure, leading to a malfunction. 

Being the communication pathway between the brain and body, the brainstem may send incorrect signals if a misalignment gets worse. As a result, vertigo may develop. 

Brain & Spine Upper Cervical Chiropractic in West Jordan, Utah, uses a gentle approach to encourage the bones to return to their correct place naturally.

If you want to be free from vertigo soon, visit our vertigo chiropractic clinic near West Jordan, UT, and start getting upper cervical chiropractic care.


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Salisbury, call our West Jordan office at 801-823-2523. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.