As we age, many things change, some more obvious than others–grey hair, spider veins and wrinkles being more visible than loss of hearing and eyesight, or impaired balance. A sporadic dizzy spell or misstep (as long as it doesn’t result in a fall) is probably not worth a second thought. However, if dizziness is present more often than not, or you’re under the age of 40, there may be something else going on beyond normal aging.
The inner ear is the source of the body’s balance, called the vestibulocochlear system. It is made up of a network of tubes lined with sensors and filled with fluid that send information to the central nervous system about movement. Peripheral vestibular disorder results when the inner ear ceases to function as it should. Function can be impaired by a head injury, a viral infection, debris accumulating in the tubes and aging.
Dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium are common symptoms of this disorder. While the cause of these symptoms is the same, they are different and can affect diagnosis. Dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness or faintness that passes fairly quickly. Vertigo feels like spinning or rotating, as if you or the objects around you are moving. Disequilibrium is a sense of being off balance almost all of the time, causing frequent falls.
While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, chiropractic care is an option for treating peripheral vestibular disorder. The chiropractor will ask about your symptoms, activities and diet to get a complete picture of your situation.
Chiropractic care can help with peripheral vestibular disorder in a variety of ways. One of these ways is a maneuver that repositions potential debris in the inner ear to a harmless spot. Adjustments to the upper neck may also be needed. If the upper neck is out of alignment, misinformation about your body’s position and movement is sent to the brain from the joints. Restoring correct alignment helps the body send the correct messages, and ultimately restores balance.
If you believe you have something more serious than a dizzy spell now and then, talk to Dr. Roach and his team about the symptoms you are experiencing. Living life out-of-balance doesn’t have to be your new normal.
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