People may be suffering for a long time before they seek a vertigo chiropractor based in Kelowna, British Columbia. One reason for patients’ delayed decision to seek care for their vertigo is the belief of misconceptions about vertigo that hinder them from getting the proper care.
If you live with vertigo, it is time to clear up any misconceptions you might have about it. Here is a quick rundown of some important facts about vertigo. The last item on the list may be able to bring hope to those who suffer from chronic vertigo every day.
Vertigo Is NOT a Disease – It’s Just a Symptom
When you search for vertigo on Google, you may get results such as vertigo condition or vertigo disease. This is because the term vertigo has multiple meanings in popular culture. There is a famous film of the same name. There is also a comic book publisher. Adding terms like condition or disease along with vertigo helps search engines provide you the information you need. However, it is important to keep in mind first and foremost that vertigo is not a condition, but a symptom of an underlying disorder.
Many Conditions Can Bring About Vertigo
About 40% of people over the age of 40 experience vertigo. Why do you think that is? The reason is that vertigo is a symptom of many different health problems. Some conditions are severe and may require medical attention, such as a heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, most cases of vertigo are not life-threatening. Issues in the vestibular system as well as the central nervous system are often the root cause of vertigo. Vertigo is the main symptom in labyrinthitis (inflammation of the inner ear) and multiple sclerosis (a neurological illness in which the immune system attacks the nerves).
Spinning Is Just One Form of Vertigo
Vertigo often involves a rotational element, but this is not always the case. In vertigo, patients may also experience a swaying or tilting sensation. Some people even describe the feeling like they are floating or moving, or turning in a different direction, even when they are perfectly still. For this reason, vertigo patients can experience a fall as the floor coming up to meet them. Someone experiencing an episode of vertigo may not realize that they are falling until it is too late.
Many People Have Yet to Identify the Cause of Their Vertigo
Reports show that doctors can only explain the cause of vertigo in 50% of vertigo patients. Many patients never find out what condition is behind the spinning sensation they experience. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common diagnosis. However, around 70% of BPPV cases are idiopathic, meaning the cause of the BPPV is unidentified. This brings frustration among patients.
The Ears Play a Role in Keeping the Body’s Balance
The first thing doctors do when you experience vertigo is to check your ears. This is because the vestibular system, composed of the vestibular nerve and inner ear, is responsible for collecting data that the brain uses to identify where you are in your environment. If something goes wrong in the inner ear, vertigo will likely set in. For example, catching the flu or any viral infection may result in inflammation in the inner ear. This, in turn, can cause a week or two of recurring vertigo attacks.
Vertigo and Dizziness Are NOT the Same Thing
Some patients mistakenly use vertigo and dizziness interchangeably to describe their symptom. Being able to pinpoint their differences can help avoid confusion for your doctor. Vertigo and dizziness are two different things. Vertigo refers to the false feeling of movement. The majority of patients experience it as a spinning sensation, similar to the feeling when someone would spin you around blindfolded when you played pin the tail on the donkey as a kid. On the other hand, dizziness is the feeling of being lightheaded, disoriented, or about to faint.
Not All Vertigo Originates from the Ear
While doctors examine the inner ear as the most likely cause of vertigo, it is not the only source of issues in the balance system. The brain pulls information from different parts of the body, including the joints. Also, the brain itself needs to decode data it is receiving immediately so that the body can stay standing and can discern where the floor or walls are. This is the reason vertigo patients tend to fall more frequently. Misinterpreted or false data hinders the body from maintaining uprightness.
Atlas Misalignment May Be the Source of Vertigo
Vertigo often strikes following a head or neck trauma. Oftentimes, the onset happens in an instant. Other times, weeks, months, or even years may pass before vertigo transpires. Regardless of when the symptom starts to show, the underlying cause may be the same thing – a misalignment of the atlas, or C1 vertebra, which keeps the balance of the head.
An atlas misalignment can have an impact on both the functions of the inner ear and central nervous system, so it makes sense to look at this problem when vertigo becomes a frequent issue. That’s precisely what upper cervical chiropractic does.
If you experience vertigo regularly, and especially if you can recall having a head or neck injury in the past, I encourage you to visit Functional Spinal Care in Kelowna, British Columbia. Call 250-763-1152 to schedule a consultation or complete our contact form. The safe, natural, and gentle care we provide could be the solution you have been searching for.