Vertigo and Dizziness

Vertigo, when it strikes "out of the blue" can mimic mild panic attacks. Unlike with severe anxiety, there's no pill or breathing exercise to calm the patient and reduce discomfort. Though vertigo symptoms are rarely as severe as a full-blown panic attack, some can last far longer—several days, weeks, or even years. 

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

  • Anxiety

  • Dizziness

  • Double vision

  • Feeling that everything is spinning around you

  • Impaired, sometimes muffled hearing

  • Loss of balance

  • Nystagmus: Unusual eyeball movements, usually horizontal jerking or "vibrating" appearance

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Perspiration (unexplained by exertion or environmental factors)

  • Tinnitus: Ringing or rushing sounds in the ears

Some of these vertigo symptoms are limited to inner ear complications, but most occur anytime there's a disruption in the body's ability to seek equilibrium. Our patients describe vertigo as the feeling that you're still, but the world is spinning or tilting around you. It's the classic symptom and you wouldn't believe how many doctors miss the connection between vertigo and the upper spine or neck area. 

Vertigo's symptoms aren't limited to what our patients experience as a direct result of their neurological impairment. When we don't have confidence in our ability to maintain our balance and sensory perception, it affects our ability to function as active, productive people. Anxieties about possible "episodes" can become as debilitating as vertigo itself, and let's face it—when we're feeling off, our loved ones and co-workers feel it, too.

What Causes Vertigo? 

As we mentioned, inner ear issues are the best-known vertigo triggers. Infections, damage, head and neck trauma, and genetics can wreak havoc on specialized hairs and fluid-filled canals in our ears, throwing us off balance and making us feel queasy.

But our skeletons also play a role in signaling where our bodies exist in space and time, and when mechanoreceptors in our joints are out of position, our proprioception—our nervous system's ability to transmit and process balance-related information—goes out the window. 

The cervical vertebrae and surrounding tissues are where most spine-related vertigo cases originate, and that's why many people who come to us for neck pain relief report they're also experiencing vertigo.

It's not just anecdotal. Medical studies have confirmed a correlation between improved neck wellness and vertigo relief. That's why chiropractors who specialize in cervical vertebrae meet a lot of clients who are desperately seeking vertigo treatment and hope for a return to their active, pain-free lives, and why patients from all over Colorado seek out Dr. Norris's specialized Upper Cervical Corrective Care approach.