How Neck Pain Causes Vertigo/Dizziness

How Neck Pain Causes Vertigo/Dizziness

The neck plays a key role in how the brain maintains balance. Signals from the injured cervical spine travel through the spinal cord to the brainstem. In that region of the brain the balance center connects with nerves that control our eyes. This is the same part of the brain that receives the signals from the inner ear. A painful neck can cause over excitation of the nerve pathways, resulting in altered functioning of the brainstem. These alterations in the brainstem can in turn cause dysfunction in eye movements and balance, since these different systems all work together as the Posture Control System.

Post-Traumatic Vertigo Head injuries occur in 5% of population annually. Head and neck trauma causes tinnitus lasting from 3 to 9 months. Post-traumatic Ménière’s causes imbalance. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is common after trauma & all of these symptoms need an ENT referral. On the other hand, lesions of the Vestibular Organs after whiplash are underestimated because chiropractors erroneously blame the vertigo and dizziness on cervical damage and CNS injury.

There are many factors that can create vertigo. Typically, a patient is given the most expensive testing first. Or just given some medication. Often the problem is resolved with basic chiropractic care. When it isn’t, I request further testing. Today, there are many brain balance centers that have sophisticated equipment that can resolve this difficult syndrome to treat. But again, often vertigo can be successfully treated with very basic chiropractic methods. I’d try that first before considering spending possibly a hundred thousand dollars or more. But it is nice to know that severe vertigo can be resolved.

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