It's estimated that 11-28% of adults suffer from ongoing dizziness or vertigo. Although dizziness can be the result of a number of health problems, it is frequently caused by disorders in the cervical spine, or neck.
At our Salem clinic, we see many auto injury patients with whiplash or headache suffering additional symptoms of dizziness. It also common for people to experience neck pain and dizziness without any specific cause or trauma.
The cervical spine plays a vital role in how our body maintains postural control. The neck is filled with sensory receptors called muscle spindles which act in concert with other reflexes to stabilize the head and eyes, while controlling posture. Dysfunctions in the cervical spine and surrounding tissue can disrupt this sensory system, leading to cervical vertigo or dizziness.
Researchers publishing in the journal Chiropractic and Manual Therapies recently conducted a literature review of several studies on chiropractic care for dizziness. They highlighted one 2008 study comparing spinal mobilization to placebo treatments for dizziness. The patients receiving spinal mobilization had greater reductions in dizziness frequency compared to the control group. They also experienced significant drops in symptom severity, disability, and neck pain.
Other chiropractic treatments like spinal adjustments and soft tissue mobilization led to similar improvements in several studies. Spinal adjustments were also found to improve balance in two other studies. These therapeutic effects may have been related to improved blood flow in the arteries of the neck after spinal adjustments. Combining chiropractic adjustments with vestibular rehabilitation was also shown to be effective. Vestibular rehabilitation includes physical and mental activities aimed at restoring balance.
This literature review confirms what we've witnessed in our Salem patients: that chiropractic care is a viable option for alleviating dizziness and vertigo in many cases.
Chiropractic care has been found to be particularly effective for dizziness originating in the cervical spine. Other causes of dizziness such as stroke, tumors, and neurological diseases may require treatment from neurologists or other health-care providers.
Dr. Geary Michels can identify the underlying cause of your dizziness to see if chiropractic can help, and will refer you to appropriate medical professionals when necessary. For effective relief of dizziness, call our Salem clinic today at (503) 399-7607.
Lystad RP, Bell G, et al. Manual therapy with and without vestibular rehabilitation for cervicogenic dizziness: a systematic review. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 2011;19(1):21. doi: 10.1186/2045-709X-19-21.