Meniere’s disease is a condition that affects the inner ear. It causes a fairly predictable combination of symptoms:
- sudden vertigo attacks that can be severe and disabling
- pressure in the ear
- fluctuating loss of hearing
- tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- nausea and/or vomiting
The reason Meniere’s disease develops is not yet fully understood. The fluid that is normally present in the inner ear will build up in excess, either due to increased production or decreased drainage. The fluid within the inner ear plays an important role in telling the brain how the body is positioned in space. This excess fluid will cause signals that travel to the brain carrying information about your body’s position and balance to become distorted, which can lead to the crippling vertigo attacks associated with Meniere’s.
What Are My Care Options?
Upon diagnosis with Meniere’s disease, there are some common recommendations that might be made. A low-sodium diet combined with diuretics are often prescribed in an effort to reduce overall fluid in the body with hopes that the excess fluid in the inner ear will also lessen. Medications to try and provide some relief from the vertigo attacks, such as lorazepam, are also used.
Outside of these typical recommendations, upper cervical chiropractic care has seen great success in helping Meniere’s disease sufferers achieve relief that is both natural and long lasting.
Vertigo and Atlas Alignment
While the reason for the excess fluid buildup within the inner ear still puzzles many in the medical field, recent upper cervical chiropractic research has illuminated a possible cause. In a study where 300 Meniere’s patients were followed over the course of 6 years, results of upper cervical care showed a 97% success rate in creating a dramatic improvement of vertigo. The same type of care that was given to the patients in this study, we provide to patients in our practice. We analyze for specific misalignments of the atlas vertebra, the uppermost one in the spine, and gently adjust it with the goal of restoring normal brain-body communication. What many people don’t know is how very close the atlas sits in relationship to the inner ear. Even a small misalignment of this vertebra can disturb the normal function of the inner ear.
100% of the 300 Meniere’s disease patients in the study were found to have atlas misalignments, most commonly from some type of whiplash injury in their past. 90% of them presented with a similar pattern of atlas misalignment that may explain the pressure on the inner ear. If you are dealing with the debilitating vertigo of Meniere’s disease and have any history of head or neck injury, then an upper cervical chiropractic approach may be as successful for you as it was for the 300 people who found relief in this study.