How Is Vertigo Related to Trauma to the Head or Neck?
Vertigo has been seen to come about after an accident of some sort that included injury or stress to the head or neck. Vertigo is a medical condition causing you to feel as if you or the things around you are moving when they are not. In particular, it feels like a spinning sensation. Vertigo is the most common form of dizziness and often comes about or is worsened when the head is moved.
In addition to a spinning sensation, vertigo may be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Nausea: This is the feeling that you may vomit, and if you think about eating anything, it is torture. Moving objects like riding in a car or motion on a computer screen can be impossible to handle.
- Vomiting: This will more than likely accompany vertigo, especially if you are feeling nauseous. If it does not subside in a few days, consult your doctor.
- Ear infection: Usually treated with antibiotics, it causes the nerves of the inner ear to become inflamed and send improper signals to the brain.
- Tinnitus: This is a ringing noise in the ears that is more of a mild annoyance than anything.
- Difficulty with balance: You may feel as if you cannot walk in a straight line. You may feel wobbly or as if you need to hold the wall for support.
- Abnormal eye movements: This is called nystagmus and is a series of rapid eye movements.
- Eye twitching: This may also include itching, eye spasms, or feeling as if you need to rub your eyes repeatedly. Sometimes putting a cold cloth over the eye can help.
- Headaches or migraines: Dizziness, nausea, and headaches all seem to go hand in hand.
- Sweating: While annoying, this is the easiest part of vertigo to deal with. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to replenish your body.
- Loss of coordination: You may become clumsy or fall easily during a vertigo attack. Dropping things, tripping, or difficulty doing simple tasks are all part of this condition.
- Trouble speaking: This happens when brain damage is at the core of your vertigo.
- Double vision: As the calcium crystals within your inner ear shift, the brain tries to control balance but is being tricked by this shifting and compensates for movement by trying to stabilize your vision. This leads to problems focusing.
Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo has to do with the body’s balance system and involves the brain, eyes, and ears. There are two basic types:
- Peripheral vertigo: Brought about by problems in the ears
- Central vertigo: Brought about by problems in the brain
Peripheral vertigo causes include:
- BPPV- benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: The most common form of vertigo brought about by the movement of small crystals in the ear that move about when your head changes position, you stand up, or bend over. Nystagmus may also occur, meaning that a person’s eyes may move about uncontrollably. BPPV is most common in people over the age of 50.
- Labyrinthitis: This occurs when the channels within the ear become infected. It can come about after a cold or the flu or from bacteria. It is a very painful condition.
- Meniere’s disease: A rare and progressive long-term condition that impacts the inner ear. Episodes come about quickly and can last for several hours.
- Vestibular Neuronitis: Inflammation of the inner ear due to a virus.
- Head injuries: It has been noted that vertigo often occurs after a head or brain injury. It is important to seek the care from a medical professional if you have endured head trauma.
- Medication side effects: Vertigo and dizziness are both common results from certain medications. If it becomes too severe, it is a good idea to see if the person who subscribed them can switch you to something else.
Central vertigo causes:
- Stroke/transient ischaemic attack: These are also called mini strokes or TIAs and have to do with a loss of blood supply to the brain which may also cause vertigo.
- Migraines: A severe neurological condition that has head pain as its main symptom.
- Brain tumors: These include what is called acoustic neuroma – a benign tumor that impacts the acoustic nerve responsible for sending messages about balance and sound.
- Multiple sclerosis: An autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own coating of the nerves causing improper signals and leads to vertigo and balance issues.
Head and Neck Injuries Bring About Vertigo
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, vertigo often comes about after one has had some type of head or neck injury such as a car accident, a sporting accident, or even a simple trip and fall. This is due to the delicate nature of the neck and its components. The head weighs an average of 12 pounds and rests upon the atlas bone that weighs around 2 ounces. The atlas (C1 vertebra) often takes the brunt of the trauma when an injury is endured causing it to misalign. If the atlas bone misaligns, it puts pressure on the brainstem and causes it to send improper signals to the brain about, for one thing, the body’s location, resulting in vertigo.
Here at Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Georgia in Dacula, Georgia, we are able to assist our vertigo patients by correcting the atlas misalignment through a gentle, scientific method that does not require us to pop or crack the spine or neck. Rather, the bones are encouraged to move into place naturally, allowing the body to heal from the damage done. This often leads to improvement in vertigo or an elimination of it altogether.
Dr. Nick Tedder is an Upper Cervical Specialist who addresses Vertigo with Upper Cervical Chiropractic care 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.