Vertigo is the sudden onset of internal or external movement or spinning sensation often triggered by head movement. Dizziness is slightly different in that one can feel faint, have an altered sense of balance, lightheaded, or as if your head is spinning.
There are several systems in place in our body’s that work to maintain balance.
- The visual system (eyes)
- The vestibular system (balance centers in the brain)
- The proprioceptive system (ability to sense/interpret your surroundings and move appropriately)
When there are mixed signals coming from any of these systems, it can confuse the brain as it’s trying to interpret information from the body. This confusion can cause dizziness, lack of balance, poor coordination, and more.
Poor neck posture, neck disorders, or trauma to the cervical spine cause this confusion. Dizziness often results from a head injury that disrupts head and neck alignment, or whiplash. This dizziness most often occurs after moving your neck, and can also affect your sense of balance and concentration.
Vertigo/dizziness and the upper neck:
One of the common causes of dizziness and vertigo stems from the upper neck. Atlas or C1, is the first vertebra in the neck. When this bone gets locked into place along with improper head alignment, it can cause a variety of neurological symptoms including dizziness and vertigo. When the upper neck is misaligned it can put stress on the brainstem and disrupt the free flowing neurological information to and from the brain. This additional stress on the brainstem can cause postural distortions seen throughout the body like a high shoulder, leg length inequality and an imbalance pelvis. Between postural imbalances and x-rays, we can bring the head and neck back into alignment for better nervous system function and communication using the NUCCA protocol.
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