Can Neck Problems Cause Inner Ear Problems?

Posted in Head Disorders Neck Disorders on Apr 19, 2017

Many chronic health problems can be caused by inner ear problems. It is also true that neck problems can cause inner ear problems. Vertigo, hydrops, tinnitus, hearing loss, and Meniere’s disease can all be coming from the neck.These health problems are related to nerves that either exit the brainstem or have their nuclei in the brainstem. Dr. Michael Burcon and others have shown how important the upper neck is in the function of inner ear conditions. In this blog, we will outline how many health problems have their roots in your neck.

Dr. Michael Burcon has shown that upper cervical spine injuries can result in Meniere’s disease and the symptoms associated with it. (1) In a paper published in 2006 Dr. Burcon showed that correction of upper cervical misalignment was responsible for 134 out of 136 cases of Meniere’s disease. Once these individuals had their upper cervical misalignments corrected they either mostly or completely recovered from their Meniere’s disease.

Other research shows that there is a relationship between the Eustachian tube and the upper cervical spine(2). One of the most common symptoms Meniere’s patients talk about is a clogged or “stuffed “ ear. There is evidence that this symptom is the result of dysfunction of the neurology that controls the tone of the muscles that line the eustachian tube.

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Burcon points out that the average onset of Meniere’s disease is 12.5 years after a neck injury. Other research suggests that neck injury can result in tightening of the suboccipital muscles(muscles at the base of the skull). A muscle of interest, rectus capitis oblique minor, has been tied to spinal cord interference(3) It appears that neck injury has several mechanisms in which it interferes with normal neurology of the upper cervical spine. This may be what is the underlying cause of Meniere’s disease, some vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.

What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic?

The upper cervical procedure's goal is to locate spinal misalignments that interfere with the central nervous system. Objective tests are run to determine which spinal level is causing interference. Once located, precise x-rays are taken of the individual joints of the neck. This allows the doctor to precisely visualize the joint misalignment. Measurements are taken off the joint because each person is built differently, and then used to make a precise, gentle correction. The correction’s aim is to restore normal bio-mechanics and to reduce irritation to the spinal cord. Over time the patients are monitored each visit to determine whether they are holding the correction or not. Over time the soft tissue repairs, the spine returns to its normal structure, and healing of the tissues affected by the irritated nerve tissue follows. Our adage is, “nature needs no help-just no interference”.

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Are you suffering from Hydrops, Tinnitus, or vertigo hearing loss? Have you had a neck injury that may have predated your symptoms? 

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Dr. Nick Tedder is located in Dacula GA and services the communities of Atlanta, Auburn, Austell, Braselton, Buford, Cumming, Dacula, Duluth, Dunwoody, East Point, Flowery branch, Gainesville, Grayson, Hoschton, Hamilton Mill, Johns Creek, Lanier Islands, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Suwanee, and Winder

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