Have you ever experienced unexplained bouts of Dizziness or Vertigo? Did you know that Osteopaths are able to treat some types of dizziness and tinnitus?
If you have then the first thing to know is that it’s much more common then you think, you are not alone!
There are many different factors at play which may be causing your dizziness or Vertigo, we now see that in many cases the source of the issue actually resides in the neck.
First things first though, What is the difference between Dizziness and Vertigo?
Although the sensations can be similar, the difference between Dizziness and Vertigo is that Vertigo also gives the illusion of movement, like the room spinning around for instance, which can then lead to a degree of disorientation, usually this movement is exacerbated by head movements, such as rolling over in bed.
So what causes Dizziness and Vertigo?
• Tight muscles in the neck containing position sensors that ‘advise’ your body about its position and balance.
• An infection of the inner ear, these can be very painful and will require medical attention for antibiotics.
• Impairment to the balance sensors that are present within the inner ear. This vital part of the ear contains tiny hairs which help the body by sending information to the brain about your body’s orientation and balance.
• Anxiety & hyperventilation can bring on sensations of dizziness and vertigo.
• Medication can occasionally be the cause, medications such as antidepressants or anti-hypertension drugs are the common culprits.
• Low blood pressure (hypotension).
• Exposure to alcohol or drugs.
• Blood supply issues to the brain.
• Visual impairment and eye injuries.
• Diseases like Meniere’s where there is damage to the apparatus of the inner ear. People who are over middle ages tend to be more prone to these conditions and symptoms can come & go over the years, & may include profound vertigo, nausea, vomiting and visual problems. There is often a history of tinnitus or deafness between attacks.
It’s quite a scary list and I apologise for not editing out the more serious concerns but dizziness and vertigo are classed as medical ‘red flags’ and the more sinister causes must be ruled out first. Osteopathy can mainly help for the mechanical concerns of the neck, although Osteopaths are trained to fully assess and diagnosis all types of dizziness and will refer on if the cause is deemed unmechanical in nature, so rest assured you are in safe hands.
Below are two mechanical causes of neck pain that Osteopaths are able to treat relating to dizziness.
Dizziness and the neck
Dizziness can be caused by tightness in the muscles that sit by the side of the neck called the Scalenes. The muscular tightness has the unfortunate side effect that it can compress the vertebral artery and cause narrowing of the discs in the lower half of your neck. If you have narrowing of your discs then this will also likely cause headaches.
Another common cause of dizziness that we see is as a result of impairment to the cervical spine along with osteoarthritis (spondylosis) which affects the sensory nerves which send information to the brain, distortions to this information can bring on the bouts of intense dizziness.
Vertigo from an inner ear infection
Osteopaths are also able to settle the crystals within the inner ear that may have been moved or dislodged by an inner ear infection, causing dizziness, tinnitus and nausea etc. If you have been experiencing Dizziness or Vertigo and it looks like the source is your neck or back or if you are suffering post ear infection, then please get in touch.
A plan specially tailored to you will make the world of difference so don’t suffer in silence. I appreciate you may have some questions about the above so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Until next time,