What causes Meniere's Disease?

Updated: Jun 15


Dizziness can be caused by Meniere's Disease as well as vertigo.
Dizziness can be caused by Meniere's Disease as well as vertigo.

Meniere's Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that affects millions of people globally. Most people see many different specialists to be ultimately told they have Meniere’s. Meniere’s disease is actually not even a disease but more of a syndrome because the presentation of symptoms can differ greatly. Unfortunately, there are not many great solutions to this problem in traditional medicine. Most medications that are prescribed come with severe side effects and rarely increase the quality of life for patients. Fortunately, upper cervical chiropractic care has shown great results in helping people with Meniere’s. So much so that many patients often say that chiropractic care was the only thing that helped them.




Anatomy that is affected by our chiropractic approach:

Cervicogenic dizziness is caused by problems that occur in the ligaments or muscles of the upper cervical spine that cause confusion in proprioception which cause misinformation to the vestibular nucleus.

Problems that occur in the ligaments or muscles of the upper cervical spine can cause confusion in proprioception. These changes can cause misinformation to the vestibular nucleus, resulting in abnormal reactions that can lead to cervicogenic dizziness (CGD). Cervicogenic dizziness is caused by functional problems of the cervical spine associated with postural alignment, proprioception, range of motion, or vertebrobasilar artery blood flow. Patients with CGD complain of unsteadiness, neck pain, stiffness, headache, dysphagia, nausea, visual disturbances, ear fullness, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, and psychological problems.

The vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI) test is to check blood flow in the vertebral artery. Patients with VBI complain of dizziness, drop attacks, diplopia, dysarthria, dysphagia, ataxia, nausea, numbness, and nystagmus during the test. VBI can generate cerebral ischemia, leading to severe symptoms. Among the causes of VBI, poor head and neck posture and malalignment of the upper cervical spine can cause mechanical compromise, resulting in decreased velocity of vertebrobasilar blood flow and dizziness.


Why chiropractic for the relief of Meniere’s symptoms?

Having a subluxation or misalignment to the cervical spine can interrupt proper flow of CSF flow, once the upper cervical is back in alignment CSF flow can flow properly.

Spinal subluxations are a misalignment of the vertebrae causing increased pressure in the affected area. This incorrect position can irritate or compress several of the body's structures including nerve roots, arteries, and veins. It can even lead to organ dysfunction, which can lead to decreased function and lower homeostasis (the state of normal homeostasis). As you can in the above picture of a before and after MRI of this patient's neck, there was a "pinch" in the spinal canal. This was putting pressure on the spinal cord and preventing the proper flow of cerebral spinal fluid. The post-MRI shows that the patient was experiencing the proper flow of cerebral spinal fluid and there were less toxic proteins built-up in the brain. The same toxic proteins are linked to dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. The primary goal of chiropractic care is to correct subluxations that lead to poor health, wellness, and disease through neuromuscular re-education of the patient. Spinal subluxations to the upper cervical spine can greatly affect the anatomy that can be linked to the cause of Meniere’s but lower cervical chiropractic care is also used to help those with Meniere's syndrome as lower neck misalignments can affect the nerve supply that goes into the ear which then affects parts of the inner ear. The anatomy of the inner ear consists of semicircular canals and otolith organs that detect body movements and gravity which then activate the vestibulocochlear nerve (cranial nerve VIII) to communicate these signals to the brain. It is believed that whiplash injuries, upper neck misalignments such as those seen in forward-head posture, and other injuries to the head and neck may compromise the normal functioning of the cranial nerves, resulting in a loss of function or deterioration of one or both components of this nerve, which results in dizziness and vertigo. At Koru Chiropractic, we utilize a combination of two very specific techniques and analysis to determine what part of the cervical spine is causes symptoms. The two techniques are called Pierce Results System and NUCCA. Both of these techniques are gentle and do not require any “twisting” or “popping” of the neck.

Our upper cervical approach is shown to realign the vertebrae and take the pressure off the neurovascular bundle( veins, arteries, and nerves). When the proper flow of blood, cerebral spinal fluid(CSF), and nerve transmission, patients experience relief of their symptoms and many of our patients can say that their symptoms go completely away.



References:

Sung YH. Upper cervical spine dysfunction and dizziness. J Exerc Rehabil. 2020 Oct 27;16(5):385-391. doi: 10.12965/jer.2040612.306. PMID: 33178639; PMCID: PMC7609854.


Takahashi S. Importance of cervicogenic general dizziness. J Rural Med. 2018 May;13(1):48-56. doi: 10.2185/jrm.2958. Epub 2018 May 29. PMID: 29875897; PMCID: PMC5981019.