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Help for cervicogenic vertigo

By Staff | Aug 22, 2019

Cervicogenic vertigo is a type of dizziness or vertigo that originates from the cervical spine (neck). Patients with cervicogenic vertigo report experiencing dizziness, vertigo, brain fog and imbalance that is worse during head and/or neck movements.

Symptoms, which may last minutes or hours, may also include neck pain and headaches.

While cervicogenic dizziness/vertigo can be triggered by a number of factors – including neck muscle tension, computer use, physical labor or poor posture – the most common cause of cervicogenic vertigo is due to neck injury.

Common sources of neck injury include blows to the head, whiplash and/or concussion sustained as a result of motor vehicle accidents, falls and through high-impact sports such as football, surfing, soccer, gymnastics and horseback riding.

Any of the above incidences of trauma may cause ligaments supporting the head and neck to be sprained (stretched), which forces the skull and upper cervical vertebrae out of their normal biomechanical position.

It is thought that the injury to the alignment of the skull and upper cervical bones alters nerve and blood flow in the brainstem, leading to cervicogenic vertigo. Unless the neck injury is addressed, the vertigo persists.

Fortunately, a rare chiropractic technique that focuses upon neck injuries – known as upper cervical care – has shown promise for cervicogenic vertigo patients.

In order to determine whether a vertigo patient may benefit from care, the upper cervical chiropractor will perform two diagnostic tests: thermal imaging and digital X-rays of the spine.

These tests accurately assess the alignment of an individual’s head and neck.

If an upper cervical misalignment is diagnosed, the patient’s injured neck is corrected by administering a precise adjustment by hand on a specially designed knee chest table. Many cervicogenic vertigo patients notice improvement in symptoms with just a few treatments.

With over 20 years of experience as a specialist in the upper cervical spine, Upper Cervical Chiropractor Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., has successfully treated hundreds of patients with trauma-induced vertigo disorders, including cervicogenic, BPPV, Meniere’s, and labyrinthitis. Her published vertigo research is available on her website: www.erinelster.com. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Elster in Kahului at (808) 866-6551 or erin@erinelster.com.