Charleston Upper Cervical Chiropractic Treatment forVestibular Disorder
What is a Vestibular Disorder?
The vestibular disorder is when there is damage to thevestibular system. The vestibular system includes part of the brainand the inner ear that help us control our balance and eyemovements. When someone suffers from a vestibular disorder, it canbe difficult for them to perform daily tasks or even getting out ofbed in the morning.
What is Vestibular DisorderSymptoms?
Depending on the type and severity of the vestibular disordersomeone has, the symptoms can vary. Keep this in mind as not allsymptoms will be the same for each person with vestibular disorderand other vestibular disorder symptoms are possible.
Vertigo and Dizziness - Having avestibular disorder mean the vestibular system is damaged and thevestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and brain thathelp your balance and eye movements.
- Vision - Vision disturbances may occurwhen encountering vestibular disorder. Their visual field may seemto jiggle or bounce during head motion or they could have doublevision. These visual disturbances might resolve as they keep theirhead still and because of these visual disturbances, patients mayoften consult an eye care professional first before realizing theyhave a vestibular disorder.
- Balance and Spatial Orientation - Damageto the vestibular system can greatly affect a person’s balance andtheir ability to identify their body’s position in relation totheir surroundings. They may become clumsy, begin to stumble often,have an inability to walk straight, struggle to maintain straightposture in which the head tilts to the side, or often touch or holdonto their surroundings while standing or while seated.
- Hearing Changes - Those who suffer fromthe vestibular disorder may have hearing loss,distorted/fluctuating hearing, sensitivity to loud noises orenvironments, or tinnitus (a phantom noise that sounds like aringing, whooshing, buzzing, whistling, or roaring). Loud soundsthat happen suddenly could increase their symptoms of dizziness,imbalance, or vertigo.
- Cognitive Changes - Vestibular disorderscan cause one to become easily distracted and have difficultyconcentrating and paying attention. Some other cognitive changesinclude forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty comprehending,disorientation, trouble understanding conversations, mental and/orphysical fatigue, and short-term memory lapses.
- Psychological Changes - When vestibulardisorder begins to change one’s life, it can cause psychologicalchanges to occur. Some psychological changes that begin due toliving with the vestibular disorder include anxiety, panic, socialisolation, depression, as well as the loss of self-confidence,self-reliance, and self-esteem.
What Causes Vestibular Disorder?
The following are known causes of vestibular disorder:
Head Injury - Any trauma to the head andneck could result in injuring your vestibular system. Those whohave had their vestibular system injured from a head injury mayhave problems with balance, experience dizziness, or vertigo (wherethe room seems to be moving around you or you feel to be movingwhile being still).
- Aging - The natural aging process canaffect your vestibular system. Dizziness and imbalance are commonvestibular disorder symptoms in the elderly; however, a vestibularfunction typically remains undamaged until more advanced ages.
- Viral Infection
A viral infection can inflame your inner ear or nerves thatconnect the inner ear to the brain. This can affect your vestibularsystem’s normal functions and may cause injury to occur.
Treatment Options for VestibularDisorder
The following are common treatments used to help those with thevestibular disorder:
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy - Alsoknown as VRT, this treatment helps the patient by guiding them withspecific head, body, and eye exercises in hopes to retrain thebrain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular systemand synchronize them with the information from their vision andperception or awareness of position and body movement. Depending onthe patient, different exercises may be recommended.
- Adjustments to Diet - Some patients findcertain modifications to their diets to be helpful. This includesgiving up nicotine and types of medication to help reduce theirsymptoms.
- Medication - Medication for vestibulardisorders depends on the severity of the disorder. For the acutephase that lasts up to five days, vestibular suppressants could beprescribed to reduce motion sickness or anti-emetics to help withnausea. Other medications used for treating vestibular disordersare steroids, antibiotics (if a middle ear infection is present),and antiviral – all depending on the patient’s situation. For thechronic phase, certain medications used during the acute phase thatcan make the brain sleepy are often not appropriate for long-termuse; therefore, the chronic phase will need to be treateddifferently by avoiding movements and/or using vestibularsuppressants daily.
- Surgery - Surgery for the vestibulardisorder is an option for patients who have not seen an improvementin their vestibular disorder symptoms with the use of medication.Different types of surgery are available and depend on thepatient’s diagnosis and physical condition. The types of surgeriesavailable for the vestibular disorder can be either corrective ordestructive. For corrective surgery, the goal is to repair theinner ear function or to stabilize it. For destructive surgery, thegoal is to stop the production of sensory information or preventthe transmission from the inner ear to the brain.
It is important to note the most common treatments are meant tohelp one who has a vestibular disorder reduce their symptoms. Thesetreatments do not pinpoint the underlying cause of the vestibulardisorder and therefore may or may not be successful in reducing thesymptoms or getting rid of them completely.
To have the best chance of reducing vestibular disordersymptoms, it is recommended to try an all-natural treatment firstthat could help repair or heal the vestibular system.
What is Upper CervicalChiropractic?
Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on your upper cervical spine(located right beneath the base of your skull). The upper cervicalspine plays a significant role in aligning the rest of your spineas well as protecting your brain stem.
The brain stem allows your brain to body communication to flowsmoothly and if any disruption occurs, these signals can becomemisinterpreted or fail to be sent. This means the body could failto repair and heal itself properly and fail to fight againstinfections.
When pressure is placed upon the brain stem from an uppercervical misalignment caused by aging, injury, or stress over time,the vertebrae pushes against the brain stem and causes disruptionsin the signals.
This pressure and disruption can cause a rise in blood pressure,numbness and tingling to occur in the body, changes in heart rate,affect breathing and sleeping, and even send false signals of painthroughout the body.
The goal of the upper cervical chiropractor is to help thepatient maintain optimal upper cervical spine health so the brainstem can continue functioning properly to take care of the body inways medication and surgery cannot.
How is Upper Cervical an Effective, All-NaturalTreatment for Vestibular Disorder?
Vertigo is a symptom that has been linked to improper alignmentof the upper cervical spine as misalignment can affect thestructure of the inner ear (which manages your balance). When itcomes to ear infections, the brain stem allows the body to properlydrain the ear and without proper maintenance, it can cause aninfection.
Any misalignment pressing against the brain stem can causevertigo or ear infections to occur.
The inner ear vessels, nerves, and structure sits very close tothe atlas vertebra located in your upper cervical spine. Amisalignment can compress the nerves and affect the structure ofthe inner ear along with its functions.
With the vestibular system including part of the brain and innerear, it makes sense that an upper cervical misalignment could bringon a vestibular disorder.
For treating a vestibular disorder, gentle and preciseadjustments are made to help realign the upper cervical spine. Thisallows pressure to be taken off surrounding nerves and the brainstem for proper communication. When the brain stem can allow propercommunication between the brain and body, the repair and healingprocess begins.
The goal of the upper cervical chiropractor is to adjust thepatient as little as possible. Depending on the patient, moreadjustments may be needed; however, fewer adjustments will beneeded over time until the upper cervical spine grows strong enoughto hold the proper adjustment on its own.
Because upper cervical is a natural treatment that allows thebody to heal and repair itself, many patients who have triedmedication and surgery still have great outcomes with an uppercervical treatment.