We asked Dr. Kurt Sherwood, our resident vertigo chiropractor in Renton, WA, to answer some of your commonly asked questions regarding vertigo.
If you have been to a doctor’s office before, you may have seen how doctors can tend to be busy and therefore do not have enough time to extensively talk to their patients one by one. But if you have been newly diagnosed with vertigo, you likely have some questions that remain unanswered. Read on until the end to find out about a natural treatment for vertigo that many people have found to be effective.
Q: What Is Vertigo?
A: Vertigo is a false sensation that you are moving or your surroundings are spinning despite staying still.
Q: Is Vertigo a Serious Condition?
A: Vertigo can be a symptom of an underlying serious condition, such as stroke or heart attack. That’s why it is best to seek the help of a doctor or a medical specialist to find out if there is a serious condition responsible for your vertigo. However, vertigo can also be caused by other less-serious conditions. For example, sometimes vertigo is caused by inflammation in the inner ear that was brought on by congestion from a virus.
Q: Who Gets Vertigo?
A: Know that you have a lot of company in your battle against vertigo. Reports show that about 10% of people experience vertigo at least once in their lives. You get more prone to having it as you age, with 40% of adults over 40 years old experiencing it at some point.
Q: What Causes Vertigo?
A: The source of vertigo for some people remains undetected, but studies have found that it often occurs following an injury to the head or neck. Thus, we can conclude that head or neck trauma is one of the leading causes of vertigo. A cold or flu can also cause vertigo since the viruses bringing these illnesses can cause inflammation to the inner ear, including the vestibular nerve. In fact, people with vestibular diseases such as Meniere’s disease experience vertigo as one of their symptoms.
Q: Can Stress Cause Vertigo?
A: While vertigo may follow stress and anxiety, it is not usually due to stress itself. However, stress is a common trigger that can aggravate an already-existing vertigo condition. A person experiencing vertigo may feel worse or feel it more frequently if he or she is under stress. Some stressors can come inevitably, so the key is to effectively manage your stress levels by employing stress management techniques.
Q: What Medications Can Treat Vertigo?
A: Diuretics or the “water pill” is a common medication prescribed to people who suffer from vertigo. It aims to reduce the fluid in the inner ear. This is especially effective in reducing the frequency of your vertigo attacks if the cause of your vertigo is endolymphatic hydrops. For those who experience extremely bad cases of vertigo, medications to prevent nausea may be prescribed in order to avoid vomiting during the episodes.
Q: How Does a Low-Sodium Diet Help with Vertigo?
A: Remember the endolymphatic hydrops we mentioned earlier? The idea for this remedy involves the same concept. You don’t want excess fluid in your inner ear, as it may cause a faulty sense of movement. By having a low-sodium diet, it prevents the retention of too much water in the inner ear. However, having a diet that’s too low in sodium may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, so it is important to talk to your doctor before changing your diet.
Q: What Is the Epley Maneuver? How Does It Treat Vertigo?
A: When the crystals in your inner ear that help detect movement and maintain balance become displaced, it may cause a problem with your sense of balance. The Epley Maneuver aims to correct the displacement of these crystals. A health practitioner can help a patient in doing this maneuver.
Q: Is There a Natural Treatment for Vertigo?
A: Definitely! Depending on the cause of your vertigo, there is natural relief for your condition. If your vertigo is due to head or neck trauma, we have the solution for you. A fascinating study involving 139 Meniere’s patients was conducted by an upper cervical chiropractor. All the subjects suffered from accidents that led to head or neck trauma, and eventually, an upper cervical misalignment. When their misalignments were corrected, the results were outstanding! Within the first six weeks of treatment, 136 of the patients reported significant, positive changes with their condition, and reported even more improvement when the study was concluded after two years.
Q: How Does Upper Chiropractic Care Help Relieve Vertigo?
A: Upper cervical chiropractic deals with the two top bones of the spine, the C1 and C2 bones, located at the base of the skull. Using diagnostic imaging, upper cervical chiropractors use unique and precise measurements for each patient to ensure a gentle procedure that will produce long-lasting corrections.
Since these two bones are near the ears and the brainstem, even a slight misalignment could influence the inner ear’s ability to drain fluids and the brainstem’s sending of signals to the brain regarding balance and spatial orientation. These malfunctions can cause vertigo.
Here in Sherwood Spinal Care, we can help you start your journey toward a life free from vertigo by helping with your head or neck injury. You may schedule a no-obligation consultation with us for more information.