Vertigo, a kind of cool Hitchcock movie and a really cool U2 song. But there’s nothing cool about the world spinning around you and puking everywhere. College students everywhere spend their weekends in the bottom of a Nat Light can trying to reproduce it; but there’s many people out there trying to stop it.
Vertigo, just like other symptoms (pain, burning, numbness, tingling, coughing, runny nose…) is not a disease or disorder, but the sign or side effect of a disorder. There are 4 main, treatable causes of vertigo: BPPV, Migrainous vertigo, TMJ disorders and upper cervical trauma/disorders along with intra-cranial masses that maybe somewhat treatable by doctors who drive nicer cars than me, like brain surgeons.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) dizziness is thought to be due to debris which has collected within a part of the inner ear. This debris can be thought of as “ear rocks”, although the formal name is “otoconia”. Ear rocks are small crystals of calcium carbonate derived from a structure in the ear called the “utricle” . While the saccule also contains otoconia, they are not able to migrate into the canal system. The utricle may have been damaged by head and or neck injury, infection, or other disorder of the inner ear, or may have degenerated because of advanced age/abuse. BPPV is treated by reversing the damage to the head and neck and through gentle adjustments to the ears coupled with specific exercises that dislodge the rocks.
Migrainous Vertigo is just what it sounds like, vertigo from a migraine. A migraine, as you may remember from earlier posts, is more than a headache, it’s an event. A migraine happens when the blood vessels of you neck spasm allowing too much or too little blood into your brain which results in pain, blurred vision, hallucinogenic events, so on and so on along with vertigo. As with migraine headaches, if you stabilize the joints and associated structures of the neck, you can ward off migraine attacks.
The TMJ aka the temporo-mandibular joint, or jaw. People who are under lot’s of stress grind their teeth at night, even though they don’t know it oftentimes. Also people who eat lots of hard and or chewy foods, chew gum, who’ve been whacked in the head or neck, spend a lot of time in front of a computer and/or have bite issues develop TMD (TMJ disorder). TMD is manifested by headaches, ringing in the ear, facial pain, tooth and jaw pain, and as you’ve guessed, vertigo. I am more than the self-proclaimed TMJ expert of Harford County, I am the TMJ expert of Harford County.
The most common form of head and neck trauma that leads to vertigo is whiplash. They say there are 2 types of people in the world: those who believe in whiplash, and those who haven’t had it yet. The facts about whiplash are another story for another day, but it happens, and I’ve fixed it.
Joint Complex-developed by SD State pharmacist to help her husband, the softball coach and former catcher re-grow cartilage in his knee, and it works. Joint problems? Pick up a bottle.