Vertigo is sensory confusion at its finest
By far the most common cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a condition that causes a sensation of spinning, either inside or outside of your head. The most common cause of BBPV is thought to be head injuries which alter the way your brain perceives the position and balance of your head, often involving dysfunction in the vestibular apparatus located in the inner ear. But there is another, less common, cause of vertigo known as cervicogenic dizziness, which is entirely different in nature.
What is cervicogenic dizziness?
While BPPV is caused by problems in the inner ear, CD is entirely mechanical in nature. It relates to dysfunction and disease in the cervical vertebrae which causes systemic pressure in the neck and head, interrupting blood flow to the brain and inner ear. The muscles and joints in your neck contain sensors that relay information about the position of your head to the brain and vestibular apparatus; when this system is interfered with, dizziness is a common result.
Diagnosing cervicogenic dizziness
It is important to differentiate between the causes of vertigo. At our office in Dunedin, we use two tests- the Dix Halpike maneuver and the Head Fixed Body Turn Test- to isolate and exclude the different causes of vertigo. By performing gentle, supported motions of the neck and head, we can induce vertigo symptoms that gives us a clue as to the real cause. Reproducing vertigo symptoms from the Dix Halpike is indicative of BPPV, while dizziness reproduced by the Head Fixed Body Turn points toward cervicogenic causes.
Treating cervicogenic dizziness in Dunedin
If we determine, through exclusion, that your vertigo is caused by cervicogenic factors, chiropractic is a great treatment going forward. Because it is mechanical in nature, CD responds extremely well to modalities including spinal adjustment, myofascial release and muscular rehabilitation. If you are interested in getting a clearer picture of what is causing your dizziness, give our office in Dunedin a call to schedule an appointment today.