Dizziness and vertigo occur when your brain senses movement although your body is stationary. Dizziness is the milder of the two conditions and may be the result of physically spinning around or temporarily losing blood flow to the brain – for instance, by standing up too quickly. Dizziness generally resolves itself fairly quickly. Vertigo, on the other hand, can be terrifying. The world whirls uncontrollably around you and the spinning doesn’t stop when you close your eyes. The sensation frequently results in nausea and vomiting and may go on for a prolonged period of time.
Rare and Occasional Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo is rarely caused by a tumor or a stroke. Occasionally, vertigo may be caused by migraine headaches, sinus congestion or infection, whiplash injury, concussion, or canaliths (debris in the inner ear).
Three Factors Create Balance
Most people are aware that balance is achieved by means of the eyes and ears. Yet blind and deaf people are able to move without falling. What makes that possible is the existence of a third, lesser-known governor of balance: proprioceptors, which are nerves located in the joints of the spine. These nerves keep your brain informed at all times of your body’s position in space.
In order to maintain balance, the brain processes information from the eyes, ears and proprioceptors. When conflicting information occurs, dizziness and vertigo ensue until the brain can sort out which facts are correct.
A Common Cause of Vertigo: Vertebral Subluxation
The spinal column protects the brain’s information system, which consists of the spinal cord and nerves. When the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned, pressure and tension alter the normal function of the nerves. In chiropractic terms, the misalignment of the spinal bones is called “vertebral subluxation.”
Should a vertebral subluxation impinge upon the proprioceptor nerves, corrupted data is sent to the brain, which in turn becomes confused about which sensory input to believe. Even if you shut your eyes, there is still conflicting input from the ears and spinal nerves. As your body’s master computer short-circuits, the attendant chaos is felt as vertigo.
Chiropractors Correct Vertebral Subluxations and Dizziness
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to detect vertebral subluxations, which they correct by means of a chiropractic adjustment. Once the spinal bones are realigned, the irritated nerves begin to calm down. Rather than suppressing symptoms with medication, the root cause of vertigo is corrected so that the sensation of spinning does not become a chronic condition.