Vertigo and Chiropractic 

 December 8, 2009

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic care has been documented to help many different conditions. I was drawn to it due to the antidotal stories of helping people who are at their “wits end.” Vertigo, dizziness, and balance problems are often that sort of thing. It is a challenge to patients and doctors to find the cause. Well finding the cause is what a chiropractor tries to do every time. We aren’t just trying to manage or cover up symptoms (though that has its place no doubt). Balance problems are one of the main reasons the elderly end up disabled or unable to live independently. Everyone knows the problems of falling late in life, and how difficult it can be to recover from hip or pelvic injuries. So any relief I help bring someone with vertigo is as much about “giving freedom.” As it is about “getting rid” of dizziness. Below is an article I was drawn to (on pubmed.gov) because it speaks of vertigo of “complex origin.” A tough case. But it demonstrates chiropractic was an important part of recovery.

J Chiropr Med. 2005 Winter;4(1):32-8.
Chiropractic management of a patient with post traumatic vertigo of complex origin.
Collins ME, Misukanis TM.

Private practice of chiropractic, St. Paul, MN.
OBJECTIVE: To illustrate a case of vertigo in a patient with cervical spine injury and mild traumatic brain injury following a motor vehicle accident and present chiropractic and rehabilitative procedures used for management. CLINICAL FEATURES: A 30-year-old female had neck pain, head pain, a variety of cognitive problems, vertigo, and restricted cervical range of motion following a serious motor vehicle collision. Following several weeks of chiropractic management with positive progress the patient suddenly had worsening of the vertigo and the cognitive problems. Positional vertigo was ruled out by the emergency room doctors and a neurologist. A neuropsychological assessment indicated that mild traumatic brain injury was present. INTERVENTION: The patient began chiropractic treatment with both passive and active care, prior to the vertigo incident. Following the vertigo incident, treatment was modified to include 6 weeks of cervical exercises in clinic and at home. The patient reported resolution of the vertigo following the chiropractic treatment plan. CONCLUSION: This case reports presents an example of vertigo that improved under chiropractic management. This case illustrates the benefits of adding mild traumatic brain injury to differential diagnoses, co-managing care with other providers, and modifying treatment when necessary. Further research is suggested to study the contribution that chiropractic management could offer to those with neurological injury.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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  1. The most common cause of vertigo is a posterior atlas caused by a whiplash type trauma. The correlation is not usually made because it often takes fifteen years before the onset of symptoms.

  2. That’s really interesting. I do orthospinology/Grostic work. The listings do not describe posteriority. At least not overtly. I guess if the atlas has gone posterior, the axis has too? Or is it just relative to the occiput? Anatomically it seems the dens would keep the atlas from going too far, before the axis would have to be involved. Am I off base?

    Regardless, the whiplash type trauma is so relevant. I agree. I see that too.

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