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Do you feel like your head is spinning, you’re dizzy and could easily lose your balance or take a fall?

Chances are you are experiencing what is known as vertigo. Vertigo is commonly attributed to problems in the inner ear, and your primary care provider may recommend you be examined by an Ear Nose and Throat specialist.

In other cases, your doctor may refer you to a medical neurologist to rule-out possible pathological issues that may be causing vertigo such as hypoglycemia, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, or compromised carotid arteries. The problem is,  medical neurologists only treat these conditions with invasive pharmaceuticals and/or surgeries, which do not address the underlying cause of the condition.

When pathological causes are ruled-out, there are other neurological reasons why vertigo can occur, and neither drugs nor surgeries will address these underlying causes favorably.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications are intended to address symptoms not causes of health conditions, and they all have side effects. Furthermore, meds are absorbed and circulated throughout the entire body and do not target specific areas.

Moreover, surgeries are incredibly invasive procedures that typically put something in or take something out of the body to “fix” an issue. The problem is, there are serious risks involved when surgery is the chosen option. In fact, the majority of the time, surgery is not a remedy that works for balance issues or vertigo.

What is Vertigo?

Merriam-Webster defines vertigo as “a dizzy, confused state of mind” or “a sensation of motion in which the individual or the individual’s surroundings seem to whirl dizzily.”

Most people have experienced dizziness at some point, whether from standing up too fast, or perhaps, after disembarking a rollercoaster ride. However, vertigo and chronic balance issues are much more serious. These conditions can be a result from neurological imbalances in the brain, cerebellum, and/or brain stem; post-traumatic brain injury; concussion; or any number of bodily weaknesses like  hypoglycemia, cardiovascular issues; neuropathy, stroke, pharmaceuticals and more.

According to Sage Journals, “Dizziness and balance problems are common complaints, especially among older adults, with an overall prevalence of 5% to 10% and more than 30% among older adults. Dizziness and balance problems contribute to the risk for falls, and falls are an important public health issue for older adults. Falls are responsible for two-thirds of all unintentional injuries in older adults, and unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in older adults.”

Types of Vertigo

There are five types of vertigo:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo – aspinning sensation often when tilting head back, turning head quickly or rolling over in bed
  • Vestibular Migraine– dizziness that starts within minutes or hours before a migraine
  • Meneire’s Disease– a combination of dizziness/vertigo and hearing loss in problem ear
  • Vestibular Neuronitis– a spinning or dizzy sensation that typically begins after being sick or having an ear infection
  • Perilymphatic Fistula– the vestibular apparatus in the inner ear actually breaks the seal; Can be caused by trauma.

All of these types of vertigo are treatable by non-invasive methods performed by Chiropractic Neurologists who assess individual patient needs, rather than providing “cookie-cutter” invasive options of medication or surgery.

Medical Neurology vs Chiropractic Neurology

The approaches to treatment are the primary differences between Medical and Chiropractic Neurologists.

As previously stated, Medical Neurology addresses health conditions with invasive means – drugs and surgeries.

Chiropractic Neurologists, on the other hand, use their expertise to examine metabolic, neurologic and structural deviations to determine the underlying causes of dis-ease. These specialists are skillfully trained to use non-invasive diagnostic tools and techniques, like environmental and technological stimuli; chiropractic manipulations; modalities; exercises, and nutritional recommendations, to remove interference and correct imbalances for improved overall health and reduction of symptoms.

Chiropractic Neurology and Vertigo Treatments

Chiropractic Neurologists are specialists trained to evaluate the brain, spine and nervous system for “dis-ease” and physiological imbalances, which can ultimately be the root cause of many health issues, including vertigo and balance disorders.

Doctors of Chiropractic Neurology use techniques and technology to examine intricacies of the brain and nervous system, as well as structure and posture, to find imbalances and treat them appropriately with chiropractic adjustments using their hands or instruments; evidence-based IM therapy; electro- and environmental stimuli; as well as exercises and proper nutrition based on individual assessments.

8 therapies prescribed by Chiropractic Neurologists may include:

  • Interactive Metronome [IM]. This is an engaging, evidenced-based assessment and training tool to improve patients’ cognitive and motor skills.
  • Eye Exercises. A Focus Builder App rehaps the brain by programming a variety of individualized eye exercises which challenge users to voluntarily move their eyes in various patterns, speeds and directions to exercise weaker or less efficient eye muscles and activate specific parts of the brain associated with cognitive, motor and memory function (depending upon the exercise).
  • Eyelights. These are neurological light and color stimulation glasses used to strengthen the weaker side of the brain, eye function and overall physical and mental performance.
  • CAPS Unit. The Comprehensive Assessment of Postural Systems (CAPS) unit tests for postural stability and risk of falling
  • Proprioceptive Stimulation. This  technique uses a means of stimulation applied to the bottom of the foot that sends messages to the cerebellum, triggering involuntary postural corrections.
  • Balance and Coordination Exercises. These may be performed in the office or at home to help retrain muscles, and strengthen the body’s core to improve balance and coordination.
  • Dietary Modifications. Dehydration and nutritional shortfalls will compromise the body’s ability to function properly because water and food are required to fuel the body.  Specific dietary recommendations based on individual needs improve energy levels and overall health.
  • Breathing exercises. When a body’s oxygen levels  decrease, the likelihood of dizziness and falling increase. Breathing exercises help maintain healthy levels of O2.

Each of these applications provides neurological rehabilitation to recreate balance and connectivity in the body by eliminating interferences that cause vertigo and other health conditions. Chiropractic Functional Neurologists use a combination of these therapies to effectively treat patients who have seen no improvement from conventional, invasive medical treatments that only involve drugs and surgeries.

Dr. Austin uses these and other techniques and exercises to remove interference in the brain and nervous system and open proprioceptive channels to help balance the eyes, inner ear, and neuro-pathways. In fact, Dr. Austin is one of only a few doctors in Boulder, CO,  utilizing the evidence-based IM therapy, which has been proven successful in treating vertigo and chronic imbalance issues.

If you or someone you know battles vertigo, balance issues, or has a heightened fear of falling due to previous falls, concussions/ head injuries, stroke, MS, or other complicating factors, contact Dr Austin today to schedule a thorough neurological assessment. You’ll be glad you did! Call 303.665.5405, or email info@austinfunctionalwelness.com.

Sources:

Sage Journals

Medicine World

Arizona Chiropractic Neuropathy Center

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

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