How Balance WorksKeeping the body upright and moving takes a great deal of coordination. Balance involves the:
- And the nervous system working together with the inner ear organs called the vestibular system.
- Sensors in the skin
- Joints that send signals to the nervous system
Diagnosing Cervical VertigoThere is no official test to diagnose cervical vertigo. Instead, a doctor needs to rule out other possible causes of symptoms and confirm the issue is neck-related. This is known as exclusion diagnosis. Other conditions that have similar symptoms and should be considered include:
- Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo – BPPV is a vestibular system issue that causes a spinning feeling when moving the head a certain way
- Meniere’s disease
- Fluid on the brain
- Brain tumor
- Multiple sclerosis
Spine Conditions That Can Cause A Feeling of Being DizzySometimes, it can be caused by physical trauma, while other times, it is a result of a health condition that affects the spine. The most common causes include:
AgeGetting older is a potential risk factor from all the wear and tear of regular living. Age can affect neck strength, mobility and increases the chances of developing various health issues.
WhiplashIf the head and neck snap forward and backward at high speed, the result is often whiplash. It is a neck spasm after a high-velocity injury, most commonly an automobile accident.
Cervical spondylosisThis is also known as arthritis of the neck. Cervical spondylosis involves the breakdown of the spine’s discs and joints over time. The discs are the body’s shock absorbers. If they begin to lose water content this starts the degenerative inflammatory process. During this process, bone spurs can begin to develop. This can cause compression of the nerves, blood vessels, and the spinal cord, which can lead to vertigo.
Herniated discWhen the center of a spinal disc bulges out/herniates, it can press on the spinal cord, compressing the spinal cord or the nerves.
Poor postureSlouching when sitting or looking down to read the phone can compress the vertebrae at the top of the spine.
AtherosclerosisThis is the hardening of artery walls and can restrict blood flow to areas that affect balance.
Neck surgeryThis can cause vertigo if the surgery damaged the area, nearby blood vessels, or nerves.
Bow Hunter’s SyndromeAlso known as rotational vertebral artery occlusion. It is the compression of a blood vessel in the neck called the vertebral artery, although it is rare.
Treatment OptionsCervical vertigo can be managed without surgery. A healthcare provider can begin the process of diagnosing and start treating any underlying health problems to relieve symptoms. Muscle relaxers and over-the-counter analgesics like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help with pain, and medications like meclizine can help with dizziness.
Aerobic exercisePhysical activities like walking, running, biking or swimming can reduce inflammation and pain. However, for aerobic exercise to be effective, the heart rate has to hit the aerobic zone for at least 15 to 30 minutes per session, at least 3 to 5 times per week.
Strength and balance trainingExercise can ease symptoms. Yoga, Pilates, and tai chi incorporate mindfulness and breathing techniques that are proven to help with pain relief.
Physical therapyPhysical therapy is recommended for building strength, improving posture, and neck mobility. Manual therapy works the muscles and joints and has been found to be helpful.
MassageTherapeutic massage can be beneficial for cervical vertigo as it eases tension on the neck and allows better circulation in the arteries.
AcupunctureAcupuncture has been shown to be beneficial for neck pain, and for the treatment of vertigo.
ChiropracticGentle chiropractic mobilization can help by correcting any injuries or misalignments.
Where to GoCheck with a healthcare provider first to check which is the right treatment to pursue. Conduct plenty of research and ask questions. Above all, don’t let symptoms go unaddressed.
Probiotics and PrebioticsA probiotic is referred to as good bacteria that keeps viruses and bad bacteria in check. The health benefits range from:
- Boosting immune system function
- Reducing cholesterol levels
- Keeps anxiety levels in check
- Probiotics can be thought of as a personal army that protects the gut/body 24/7.
- Wheat bran
- Raw chicory