Almost everyone has experienced a few seconds of dizziness or lightheadedness… and the fancy term is called spatial disorientation. Think of the last time you watched a 3D movie, and you perceived you were moving or falling as images passed by you. Or a trip to Colorado where you were high up in the mountains and and felt woozy, lightheaded, and a bit nauseous. Luckily, these were brief moments that subsided quickly. But, some people suffer these symptoms frequently and they don’t go away after a few seconds. They can last up to 2-3 days of severe dizziness, lightheadedness, and naseousness. Sounds terrible, right? Well ask anyone who is suffering from vertigo and they will tell you that it absolutely is. Terrible.
I want to share with you 3 things you must know if you or someone you know is suffering from vertigo.
1)First, let’s talk about what is actually happening in the body that can cause vertigo. Vertigo can be a type of peripheral vestibular disorder (meaning the problem is coming from the balance organs of the inner ear) or it can be a central vestibular disorder (the problem is in the part of the central nervous system that helps process balance and spacial awareness). Now go back and re-read that sentence. It was a lot of fancy terminology, but it basically says the problem is in the balance part of the ear, or in the nervous system that is supplying function to that inner ear. Makes sense, right? Sometimes the problem can be that a light bulb is burnt out, or sometimes it can be with the wiring that supplies the lamp… both lead to the same problem – the light doesn’t work!
2) How does your body actually maintain balance and “spacial awareness”? The body receives sensory information from 3 main systems to maintain balance:
- Proprioception (touch sensors in the feet, trunk, and spine)
- Vestibular System of the inner ear
Sensory information from all these systems is integrated and processed by the brainstem. In a healthy system, feedback messages are relayed from the brainstem to the eyes to help maintain steady vision and to the muscles to help maintain posture and balance. When there is a problem in this process, it can no longer process all the sensory input effectively and results in dizziness, vertigo, and disequilibrium.
3) Nervous System. Brainstem. Upper Cervical. One thing that must be checked is the function of their nervous system – specifically in the upper cervical region. A misalignment of the upper cervical vertebrae can alter the function of the nervous system in that area, and guess what part of your nervous system is located there? That’s right, your brainstem. Your brainstem is located within the top two cervical vertebrae. That misalignment could cause the problem of a central vestibular disorder (see #1 above) and also trouble with processing all the sensory information coming into the brainstem that helps to maintain balance. This is exactly the reason we take care of people suffering from vertigo – that have tried so many other methods – and they see great results!
A perfect person to ask would be Mary Lynn. Mary Lynn used to suffer from severe vertigo where she would have to stay in bed for 2-3 days straight because just standing up would trigger severe spinning, dizziness, and nausea. This would happen multiple times a month! Imagine how this affected her life – her family, her work, and her emotional state. Please watch her testimonial to hear her story… in her own beautiful words.