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A Dizzy Adult

There are a variety of mechanisms behind the problem of dizziness, also called vertigo in medicine. Some of these causes are quite serious and will require immediate medical intervention to prevent ongoing balance and hearing problems even, more rarely, death too!

However the causes of vertigo are reasonably simple to differentiate in the clinical setting and the most common causes are easily remedied. It is very frequent occurrence for a chiropractor to be presented with a dizzy desk worker for a patient. These people can have multiple bouts of vertigo during the day, sometimes big obvious movements like suddenly standing up or sitting down will bring on the feeling. Sometimes just the smallest flicker of an eye movement is enough to precipitate a full blown attack. The bouts can be quite distressing and last several seconds causing strong sensations of nausea and making a workday a very difficult thing indeed.

Simple cases that are easily treatable by a chiropractor or other manual therapist are generated from the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear. The idea is that you are getting vertigo from the semicircular canals in here that give you your sense of balance. These canals are normally fluid filled and lined with little movement receptor cells, as the canal fluid brushes past your receptor cells it lets your brain know that your head has moved in space.

However sometimes little crystals will form in your canal fluid and these chunky little guys can overstimulate your movement receptors. There is a little pouch at the base of your ear canals called the ‘utricle’ and by positioning your head correctly you can get the crystals to settle down into this pouch and stop bugging out your movement receptors.

The beauty of using this technique is that if your semi circular canals are the cause of your dizziness you will know about it immediately!!! This is because as the crystals move through your canals on the way to the utricle they will stimulate a LOT of receptors. The vertigo will become apparent straight away, in fact it was always pressed upon us at university that when employing this technique you should keep a sick bucket handy. Happily though with each repetition of the manoeuvre the vertigo will relieve and usually become a lot lessened very quickly.

These manual techniques for relieving vertigo are very easy to teach as a home exercise and usually once taught patients can easily manage there own symptoms without resorting to drug therapies and multiple specialist appointments.

If you have noticed you are getting strange sensations of vertigo and its starting to affect your life or work in a negative way then consider getting checked as soon as possible!


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Michael O'Doherty

Hi, I’m Michael; Chiropractor, Dad, science enthusiast, active weightlifter and keen sportsman. I work with busy and active people who are struggling with pain to find relief from their symptoms so that they can return to an active lifestyle, get through their work day and their workouts without having to pop a pill so that they can feel happier and healthier in their body.