Since I have joined the team at Riverview Chiropractic Health, I have provided care for patients with sensations of dizziness which have seemed to come on abruptly. How can chiropractic care help? Let me explain to you a little about vertigo and the anatomy of the ear, and explain some common causes and treatments
Most of us know that the ear functions in hearing, but did you also know that the ear helps us maintain our balance? The ear has three parts the outer, middle and inner ear. The outer ear is the part of the ear which everyone can see. This is the part of the ear which catches incoming sounds in the form of vibrations or sound waves. These are then funneled into the ear canal. This part of the ear contains cerumen, commonly known as ear wax. Cerumen has many protective functions like cleaning and lubrication of the ear canal. It also keeps foreign objects from gaining access to the ear canal and middle ear.
In addition to the outer ear, one of the structures your doctor examines is your eardrum or tympanic membrane. This is a thin membrane which separates the outer from the middle ear. Sound waves hit the tympanic membrane and make it move or vibrate. When this membrane moves that movement is transmitted to the middle ear where tiny bones called the auditory ossicles transfer the force into the inner ear. Different vibrations of sound make the tympanic membrane and auditory ossicles move at different rates. In the next step, that movement is transferred into the inner ear which contains fluid called endolymph. This fluid is contained in canals called semicircular canals. Inside these canals are tiny hair cells which bend when the fluid moves. The brain can sense the movement of these hair cells and translate that movement into the sounds that we hear.
It is necessary to understand how the inner ear and semicircular canals affect balance to relate how a person with vertigo feels dizzy. Vertigo is a sensation of spinning, dizziness or a feeling of being off balance. Vertigo can happen even when a person is standing still with no movement. Vertigo can be transient such as when a child spins around in a circle . When injury is involved it can take longer to resolve. There are two common causes of dizziness. First, dizziness can come from joints and muscles of the neck. The first two vertebra C1 and C2 (they are located just below the skull/head), are the most likely culprits when aberrant joint motion causes dizziness. Often muscles such as the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid can also contribute.
The second common cause of vertigo is a type called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This type of vertigo is believed to be caused by calcium carbonate deposits which form in the canals of the inner ear. These small stones, called otoliths, can become lodged in the inner ear canal causing disruption of the movement of fluid and interference with movement signals sent to the brain. This causes the sensation of spinning when in fact you are standing still. Sometimes dizziness is exacerbated with one repetitive motion such as in turning the head or getting up from a reclined or seated position. Our chiropractors will work with you in order to find the cause of your symptoms and then come up with a plan to treat them.
Is there relief from this troubling condition? Yes. How is vertigo treated? If the cause of dizziness is aberrant motion of the joints in the neck and the muscles, chiropractic adjustments will restore normal joint function and restore balance and proper function to the muscles. If the inner ear is the cause of dizziness your Chiropractor can use maneuvers called Hallpike or Epley to mobilize the crystals. When vertigo is caused by calcium deposits in the inner ear, 70% of the time to this type of treatment has a favorable outcome. Your Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to diagnose and provide a treatment plan for vertigo. If necessary, we also co-treat with other healthcare professionals to address this and other symptoms that can interrupt our pursuit of optimal health.
Change In Patient Hours For Drs. Marinaccio And Tomko
Dr. Marinaccio’s Tuesday hours have changed to 7:30am-12:30pm
Dr. Tomko’s Wednesday hours have changed to 8:00am-2:00pm
We are welcoming two new Chiropractic interns to our office to scribe for Dr. William Davis! Kay and Joshua will be joining us on Tuesdays and Fridays.
We have said goodbye to Kate at our front desk; we wish her the best of luck as she starts on a new endeavor. We also welcome back Patti to our staff so you’ll see a new face in reception!
Our office will be closing early on Monday, May 29th for Memorial Day. Dr. Alaina Rowswell and Dr. Jeremiah Davis will be available in the morning for patients. We will be open on Saturday the 27th.
Recipe Of The Month
Tomato Feta Salad
4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors
1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 onions)
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese
Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl.
Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well.
Dice the feta in 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible.
Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature.