Vertigo is NOT a Diagnosis…
Vertigo has slowly become one of the most common conditions we are seeing in the office today. Most of the time, people come to see us after they have had work ups done by their primary, ENT, neurologist, and physical therapist.
Vertigo and balance disorders can have a very debilitating impact on a patient’s life. It can make a patient become reluctant to perform some very basic tasks of human existence. Walking in open spaces without a wall suddenly becomes intimidating, and finding the right sleeping position is almost like a game of roulette.
The problem is that when someone says that they were diagnosed with vertigo, it’s not a diagnosis. It’s a symptom of another problem. It would be like going into a doctor’s office with low back pain, and that doctor says that your diagnosis is low back pain. You don’t want the doctor to re-hash your symptom back to you, you want them to find out WHY you have that problem.
Vertigo is a symptom of a LOT of different conditions. Some of which include:
- Meniere’s Disease
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cervicogenic vertigo
- Head trauma
Atlas Displacement and Vertigo
In many cases, a Structural Shift in the head and neck known as Atlas Displacement Complex can be a major contributor to vertigo symptoms.
Neurologically speaking, the neck provides important information about where the body is in space. When the neck is dysfunctional, the brain loses one of the key sources of information about the environment. In fact, it is part of 3 systems that contribute to your sense of balance. This includes the inner ear, the eyes, and the mechanical sense system.
The top of the neck is one of the largest contributors to that mechanical system. There are more receptors in the muscles of the neck than almost every other part of the body. Things like whiplash and concussion can jar the neck in a nasty way which is why dizziness is common after a head and neck injury. This is called post-traumatic vertigo.
By correcting a dysfunctional head and neck because of a structural shift like Atlas Displacement, we can actually fix a major contributor to your balance system.
If your brain is getting wrong information from it’s senses, then it will produce inappropriate responses to that information. In order for our brain to regulate our blance properly, it needs good input from the eyes, ears, and spinal systems.
It Starts and Ends in the Brain
You sense of balance all starts and ends in the brain, but here’s the important thing to remember. The information your brain puts out is only as good as the information that goes in. Ensuring proper function of the neck may be the missing link in the care of people with vertigo.