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You know this feeling, where it looks as if the world is spinning around you. Ever had that feeling? Not spinning around you in the light of being overloaded, career pressure, family obligations or the day to day pressure which we all go through and may affect our well-being. Your head is spinning and you are neither sick nor nursing a hangover. You feel that there is no reason for this.

This experience happens to people a lot more often than you would think. It may cause people to be scared and afraid. There’s need to educate patients suffering from vertigo; and to calm them when they are wondering when it will pass or if the spinning shall pass at all. This condition is not imaginary, it is very real. It is called vertigo

Spinning Circles

Vertigo is a general medical term which describes a condition in which a person feels dizzy and loses balance and feels as though things are moving/spinning around him/ her. In the real sense, these things are not moving. This feeling is often explained as spinning. It is like that which you feel after a merry go round and you didn’t get over the feeling you got from the ride immediately you get on land. Or that unnerving feeling which you get after being on sea and after you get on land you still feel the flow of the water.

Vertigo normally comes with: feelings of nausea, vomiting, sweating and sometimes finding a hard time walking. It can be too challenging and almost impossible to run your day to day activities. The above symptoms can make the person feel so weak.


Vertigo has a number of causes. Some of this causes may be very serious medical conditions. But it is mostly caused by mild issues which are centered on the inner ear. The inner ear is also called the vestibular system and controls your body’s balance and your spatial orientation.

Inner ear problem called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is mostly a result of tiny objects moving around your inner ear when you change position. With this movement, you get the spinning feeling, vomiting etc.

Vertigo is normally accompanied by Meniere’s disease which is the ringing of ears, hearing loss. You might feel your ear canal is blocked or fluid-filled. The reason for this could be genetic or external environment factors though it has not been proved.

Labrynthitis, ear infection, is another top cause of vertigo. Labrynthitis indicates an inflammation in the inner ear. Vertigo is a symptom of this condition.

Vertigo and Chiropractic

The big question is if chiropractic care can help a patient with vertigo. To answer your question, yes. Two primary techniques are involved in aiding the body to heal so that the patient can regain his or her sense of balance.

There are two primary techniques used when chiropractors treat vertigo, the first of which is usually a basic adjustment.  Regular adjustments allow your nervous system, the body’s master control system, to function at its highest maximum level.  When you adjust your spine, your nervous system is encased and facilitates better communication between the brain and the body.  Your ears, lymph nodes, and immune system are positioned for faster healing with much greater ease after each adjustment.

One type of vertigo, called cervical vertigo, is caused by improperly moving joints in the cervical spine.  This can be caused from a recent neck injury that leads to incorrect information being sent to the brain about movement and body positioning.  This misinformation can cause dizziness and a spinning sensation.  Manipulations and adjustments can realign the joints and vertebrae in the cervical spine, correcting the nervous systems pathways and allowing for a clearer communication.

The second technique used by chiropractors is the Epley Maneuver, which is a repositioning technique of the inner ear.  This is done to facilitate the recalibration of the inner ear and its components.  It’s a non-invasive maneuver and truly supports the body’s natural healing abilities.  Your equilibrium is centered and based between your ears, and any disruptions can cause extreme vertigo.  Chiropractic care can treat the underlining issue and cause, and with follow-up care, prevent reoccurrences.

A very common type of vertigo, BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), is caused from movement of crystals around the inner ear.  The crystals come from the otolith organs and make you sensitive to gravity.  They can shift out from the organ and into other parts of the vestibular labyrinth, altering center of balance and causing the vertigo symptoms.  Chiropractic care will entail using the Epley Maneuver to shift your head in different positions, repositioning the crystals inside the inner ear.

Along with in-office chiropractic care, your chiropractor may send you home with exercises and activities to help ease your vertigo.  One of the most common at-home exercises used is the Brandt-Daroff exercise.  This entails starting in the upright position; you will then slowly lie down, with your nose pointed up at a 45-degree angle.  You should remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, or until your symptoms subside, whichever is longer.  Once you have noticed the vertigo symptoms subside, move back to the upright position and then do the same thing on the other side of your body.

Evidence Says…

Dizziness is a common problem that can often lead to disability or psychologic distress in middle-aged and older adults. A subcategory of dizziness is cervicogenic dizziness, characterized by symptoms of sensations of excessive motion, imbalance, or spinning associated with neck pain and stiffness. Cervicogenic dizziness is thought to be caused by abnormal sensory afferent stimulation in the cervical spine. Presently, there is some evidence to advocate the use of spinal manipulation (SM) or other manual therapy (MT) techniques for this condition. Most of the existing studies looking at the effect of SM/MT on cervicogenic dizziness are either case reports, single-subject designs, or observational studies. Only 2 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been published to date; only the study by Reid et al was adequately powered to detect between-group differences. Both studies suggested a benefit of MT/SM for dizziness of cervical spine origin, especially when these individuals have neck pain and/or cervical spine dysfunction.

Like dizziness, poor balance in older adults is a significant problem as evident by the fact that one third of community-dwellers over the age of 65 years experience a fall and half of those have a repeat fall. Falls are a leading cause of nonfatal injury in older adults and account for two thirds of all unintentional injury deaths in this population. The cause of falls is considered multifactorial, with impairments in balance, gait, and activities of daily living, as well as lower extremity weakness and/or dysfunction being the most significant modifiable risk factors. Preliminary research shows a link between neck pain/dysfunction/dizziness and poor postural control. It has been shown that patients with neck pain have altered abilities to perceive vertical orientation and have poorer postural control when compared with patients without neck pain.

The purpose of this study was to collect preliminary information on the effects of chiropractic care (SM/MT) on cervicogenic dizziness, balance, and neck pain. Twenty-seven patients were recruited over a period of 13 months. Twenty-one patients enrolled in the study; but because of 2 dropouts, 19 patients completed the treatment. Conclusion: A large effect size was calculated for the study. Most patients demonstrated improved balance, and some showed reduced dizziness and neck pain. Further studies with comparison groups and larger samples are needed.

2009: Strunk RG, Hawk C. Effects of chiropractic care on dizziness, neck pain, and balance: a single-group, preexperimental, feasibility study. J Chiropr Med. 2009 Dec;8(4):156-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2009.08.002. PMID: 19948306; PMCID: PMC2786230.