Disequilibrium, dizziness, and vertigo are three of the top reasons people go to the doctor. These symptoms are experienced if you have one of the following conditions:
- A peripheral vestibular disorder: A problem in the balance organs of the inner ear or vestibular system
- A central vestibular disorder: A problem in one or more parts of the central nervous system that is responsible for managing balance and spatial ability
Differentiating Vertigo, Dizziness, and Disequilibrium
In most cases, dizziness, vertigo, and disequilibrium are often joined together by a common source. However, these three are not the same things. It is vital that you can distinguish which is which and be able to describe accurately to your doctor what you feel so you can get the right help. So, how do these three differ?
- Dizziness: A feeling of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or faintness
- Disequilibrium: Imbalance or loss of equilibrium frequently joined by spatial disorientation
- Vertigo: A spinning or rotational sensation; the sense of movement when there is none
Everyone has probably experienced a little disorientation at one point or another. For example, when you watch a 3D movie, you may feel as if you are moving or falling as the images rush past. However, if your vertigo happens when you move your head a certain way, you most likely have a vestibular disorder. The sensation can last a few minutes or a few days.
Explaining Vestibular Disorders
The body uses three central systems to keep balance through sensory info. They are the following:
- The vestibular system in the inner ear
- Proprioception (touch sensors in the body, spine, and feet)
The signals from these three systems are administered and brought together in the brainstem. In response to these signals, messages are relayed to the eyes to uphold the steady vision and to the muscles to direct them to maintain balance and posture.
When the vestibular system is functioning correctly, it provides accurate information about where you are in your environment. Some unfitting signals from vision or proprioception can be managed. For instance, when you’re beside a railroad crossing. The passing of a train may make you feel as if you are moving or drifting, but the brainstem can handle this and recognize what is truly happening. On the other hand, when it comes to irregularities in the vestibular system, they are much challenging to control. The vestibular system can be compared to a referee who is torn between which team is in the right. When the vestibular system is not working as it should, it is unable to resolve such conflicts, resulting in dizziness, vertigo, and disequilibrium.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo download our complimentary e-book How to Naturally Relieve Vertigo without Drugs by clicking the image below.
Possible Causes of Vertigo
Most of the time, malfunctions of the vestibular system that cause vertigo and other balance problems are attributed to a head injury. Some factors also contribute such as aging, viruses, genetics, environmental factors, and other illnesses. The following conditions commonly cause vertigo, dizziness, and disequilibrium:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): The presence of calcium crystals called otoconia in the canals of the inner ear can interfere with the preception of movement.
- Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis: Inflammation that resulted from a viral infection, leading to damage in hearing and vestibular function
- Autoimmune inner ear disease: Including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Cogan’s syndrome, systemic Sjogren’s syndrome, and Wegener’s granulomatosis
- Cervicogenic dizziness: A clinical condition of disorientation and disequilibrium in patients with neck problems that may involve arthritis or trauma
- Middle ear pressure changes: Colds and allergies can result in inflammation of the eustachian tube or fluid buildup in the middle ear.
- Meniere’s disease: Irregularities of composition, quantity, or pressure of the fluid in the inner ear
- Migraine-associated Vertigo (MAV): Pulsating or throbbing headache joined by vertigo
- Cholesteatoma: A skin growth that occurs behind the eardrum in the middle ear
- Acoustic neuroma: A benign tumor that develops on the vestibulocochlear nerve
- Otitis media: An infection caused by bacteria in the middle ear
- Otosclerosis: An abnormal bone growth in the middle ear
- Perilymph fistula: A tear in the membrane that splits the middle ear from the fluid-filled inner ear
- Ototoxicity: Brought by exposure to certain chemicals that damage the nerve hair cells of the inner ear or the vestibulocochlear nerve
The real question is: What can be done to stop the dizziness, vertigo, and disequilibrium?
Correct Spinal Alignment Stops Vertigo
Here at Balanced Living Chiropractic in Rochester Hills, Michigan, our specialty is addressing the root cause of vertigo to stop the suffering of our patients. Doctors have connected a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine to the onset of vertigo. As mentioned above, the brainstem is responsible for the processing of the information on balance and orientation. The C1 and C2 vertebrae in the upper neck protect the brainstem from damage and keep it functioning in order. However, if a trauma occurs in this area, the vertebrae may become misaligned. The brainstem can be put under pressure and may malfunction. A glitch in the brainstem may result in the sending of improper signals to the brain about the body’s environment. Vertigo will be the end result.
An upper cervical chiropractic clinic like ours can realign your C1 and C2 using a gentle technique. We can give positive results without popping or cracking the neck. By inspiring the bones to realign in a natural way, the result is an adjustment that stays in place longer. A case study can demonstrate the effectiveness of upper cervical chiropractic care. You can say goodbye to your vertigo, dizziness, and disequilibrium after only a few adjustments.
To schedule a complimentary NUCCA consultation, call 248-652-7225 or just 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