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Dizziness and Vertigo

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Remember being on the playground as a child, twirling on the merry-go-round until you could no longer hold on? Remember the feeling of everything uncontrollably spinning around you? Back then it was fun and you could control the situation, but imagine being an adult and not being able to stop the merry-go-round.

For thousands of people, this is an affliction that is dealt with on a daily basis. It is known as vertigo. Vertigo is the incorrect perception by the brain of balance and motion. There are two types of vertigo: 1) subjective – where the person feels that he or she is spinning; and 2) objective – where the person feels that the surroundings are rotating.

Our body gathers information from our eyes, inner ears, and sensory fibers in our neck and interprets these impulses in the medulla oblongata (brain stem). A problem in any of these sensory areas or in the brain stem may produce an equilibrium problem or vertigo. In medical practice, vertigo is assumed to be a disorder in the head or central nervous system. The dysfunction of the cervical spine (neck) is seldom considered. Recent studies reveal that the most common cause of vertigo is an irritation of the nociceptor or proprioceptor fibers of the neck (these are the nerves that deal with pain and body position). The neck muscles and joints have a rich supply of these types of nerve fibers, and they play a large role in governing balance.

Major traumas like car accidents or even micro-traumas like holding your head in an awkward position for prolonged periods of time may produce misalignment of the vertebrae in the neck, and irritation to the muscles of the neck. Abnormal motion of these vertebral joints and muscular contraction produces irritations to the proprioceptive and nociceptive fibers which send impulses to the brain stem. The brain stem is then improperly stimulated into the vertigo state.

Independent medical and chiropractic research into this condition has brought about similar conclusions. Karel Lewitt, M.M., a neurologist from Czechoslovakia, states that manipulation (adjustment) of the cervical spine for vertigo has been successful in cases where no other non-surgical methods are effective. Dr. Fitz-Ritson, a chiropractor from Toronto, Canada, published his study of 112 acute and chronic patients with vertigo, reporting a 90 percent success rate with chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine.

Through a thorough chiropractic examination of the cervical spine, conditions of this nature can be diagnosed and a treatment plan started immediately. The choice to ride the merry-go-round is now yours.

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