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Cervical Vertigo

Dizziness has various causes. Our clinic not only has the diagnostic tools to test for many of these causes but also the technology and understanding of how to go about correcting it.

One commonly overlooked cause of Dizziness/Vertigo stems from the neck.  Many times the patient will have neck pain but not always.  There are little sensors housed in every muscle and joint in the human body which detect position sense called proprioceptors and muscle spindles. The top of the neck is more densely populated with these receptors than any other part of the body, by more than 10x!

The brain takes in sensory information from the eyes, the inner ear, cerebellum, the GI tract, the neck, etc. When one of these has dysfunction the brain will turn on the dizziness sirens. In cases where those proprioceptors from the joints/muscles of the neck are not functioning properly, dizziness may occur.  When the top bones in the neck are carefully realigned with our Upper Cervical approach, the sensors calm down and the dizziness goes away.

Possible Cause of Meniere’s Disease Discovered at Burcon Chiropractic’s Meniere’s Research Institute
PRWEB, 2018
Dr. Michael Burcon (upper cervical chiropractor) has published a study with 50+patients. Pierce for lower cervicals. Commonly, both C1 and C5 are disrupted to produce the symptoms
Cervicogenic dizziness: Long-term outcomes of a randomised trial
Man Ther, 2015
These results provide evidence that both forms of manual therapy (adjustments) have long-term beneficial effects in the treatment of chronic cervicogenic dizziness.
The role of the cervical spine in post-concussion syndrome
Phys Sportsmed, 2015
This paper goes into some of the suspected mechanisms for why correcting the cervical spine can address post-traumatic vertigo.
Rehabilitation of Concussion and Post-concussion Syndrome
J Sports Health, 2012
“The upper cervical spine is particularly vulnerable to trauma because it is the most mobile part of the vertebral column, with a complex proprioceptive system that has connections to the vestibular and visual systems.61 Cervical vertigo or dizziness after whiplash injury can mimic the symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome. It may be due to mechanoreceptor dysfunction109 or posttraumatic vertebrobasilar circulatory insufficiency.”
Inaccurate Saccades and Enhanced Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Suppression during Combined Eye–Head Movements in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: Possible Implications for Cervical Vertigo
Front Neurol, 2017

We examined individuals who have pain and discomfort in their necks and have reduced head movement amplitudes, presumably to prevent further pain. This is a circumstance that occurs in many individuals; soft tissue pain can result from postural abnormalities, trauma, or arthritis. None of the individuals tested had vestibular loss, cerebellar dysfunction, cervical dystonia, or structural damage to their necks; their pain was the result of diminished soft tissue compliance and myalgia. However, as a group and consistent between individuals, these patients showed enhanced VOR suppression, inaccurate gaze saccades, and altered eye–head kinematics, including delayed head and gaze onsets and prolonged durations. The alteration in the kinematics of eye–head saccades may be consistent with increased neck soft tissue viscosity and stiffness, mimicking increased head moment of inertia. Likewise, there may be impaired feedback from neck proprioceptors to more rostral brainstem or cerebellar structures involved in VOR suppression and maintenance of gaze accuracy.

and more delayed than they should be. VOR suppression is disproportionate to the size of the actual gaze saccades because sensory feedback signals from neck proprioceptors are non-veridical, likely due to prolonged coactivation of cervical muscles. The outcome of these changes in eye–head kinematics is head-on-trunk stability at the expense of gaze accuracy. In the absence of vestibular loss, the practical consequences may be dizziness (cervical vertigo) in the short term and imbalance and falls in the long term.

Sixty Patients With Chronic Vertigo Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxation: A Retrospective Analysis
Journal Vertebral Subluxation Res., 2006
Dr. Elster published results from 60 patients with chronic vertigo that received specific atlas corrections. Out of 60 patients undercare 48 experienced complete resolution of vertigo symptoms. All of the cases received some reduction of vertigo severity and or frequency over the course of one to six months of atlas care.

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