Why Do I Have Dizziness, Vertigo and Balance Problems?
60 to 70 million Americans have Dizziness, Vertigo and Balance Problems!
These are called Vestibular disorders. The Vestibular system of the body is designed to help you know where your body is in space (judge distance, direction, tracking objects visually, control upright posture , perform learned motor activities and influences organ function just to name a few things it does) How this system works is, it gives and receives input from these 6 structures:
- Feet and postural muscles
- The cervical spine
- The different lobes of the brain
- The cerebellum
- The inner ear (comprising the semicircular canals and the otolinths of the Utricle and Saccule)
- The eyes
A problem with one or more of these structures can cause symptoms such as:
- Lack of balance
- Dropping objects
- Blurry vision
- Chronic neck tension
- Feeling like your legs give out
- Floating sensation
- Ringing in the ears
Two Common Conditions related some of these symptoms
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- To be properly evaluated for BPPV your dizziness must be provoked by head position; dizziness alone is not an indicator. If a specific test called the Dix-Hall Pike test is positive it means that small crystals in your inner ear have become dislodged, their displacement is causing the dizziness/vertigo problems. The corrective treatment is called the Epley Maneuver in which the crystals are recaptured and are put in their correct position. Unfortunately, often this diagnosis is made in error and or the Epley’s maneuver is done incorrectly and there is no home rehab prescribed to reinforce the correction. So if you have been told this is your problem but you are still suffering either you actually don’t have BPPV or your treatment was not done correctly. In the medical world anything that involves dizziness will often be mis-diagnosed as BPPV.
- Meniere’s Syndrome
- Is characterized by ringing in the ears (Tinnitus), hearing loss, recurring episodes of vertigo, and feeling of fullness in ears. This is often a problem with the temporal lobe. It May be caused by an auto-immune condition. There are specific therapies to improve function of this part of the brain.
Addressing Vestibular Problems
How we address all vestibular problems is by doing a thorough Neurological exam and looking at all the 6 structures that can be involved with a special attention paid to the cerebellum. The cerebellum has a strong influence on balance and eye movement and it stimulates the inner ear and receives input from the brain and the inner ear.
- The Eyes- there is not usually a problem with vision because you have been to other doctors also they have ruled out tumors, imaging is negative
There are two reasons you have not improved
- You have not had a comprehensive neurologic exam. You may have been to a medical neurologist and they have ruled out tumors, dead nerves, your MRI is negative. They can’t find why you have the symptoms. You don’t have a specific pathology which is good; you have a functional deficit which takes specific training to detect. This is the training I have in functional neurology.
- You have not had a comprehensive metabolic evaluation. Inflammation is a big factor in vestibular problems: low grade inflammation, food allergies, blood sugar problems, gut problems.
If your symptoms are brought on by stress, menstruation, hunger, exertion there is likely a metabolic component.
Chronic health conditions often have the same root causes. There is either a weakness in the neurological firing mechanism of your nervous system (brain, cerebellum, cervical spine) that is creating your symptoms and /or you have a systemic inflammatory process that is creating inflammation in your nervous system causing the symptoms.
Our office is unique in that we are expertly trained to examine and address both factors providing you the relief you want.