vertigo-101-whats-pppd-and-how-to-resolve-itI’ve seen vertigo in many forms as a Huxley based vertigo chiropractor. Vertigo is a symptom that brings a false sense of spinning or movement. Some people experience it only for a few minutes or even just seconds. However, some go through a more debilitating and persistent form of vertigo called PPPD. What is it? How do you manage it? Read on to learn more about this condition. 

What Is PPPD?

PPPD is short for persistent perpetual perceptual dizziness. It is a condition that involves recurrent vertigo attacks. For doctors to consider a condition PPPD, someone has to experience more days with vertigo than vertigo-free days. 

Causes of PPPD

Doctors consider the things listed below to be possible root causes of PPPD.

  • Vestibular Disorders

Some conditions can result in issues in the vestibular system, which is responsible for the body’s balance and spatial orientation. When this happens, vertigo attacks can be severe and frequent. Vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and Meniere’s disease.

  • Migraines

Reports say that 2 in 5 migraines involve vestibular symptoms such as vertigo. If someone has chronic migraines with vertigo, this can cause the patient to experience vertigo for 15 or more days in a month. 

  • Neurological Conditions

Besides migraines, many other neurological conditions can bring on recurring vertigo. For example, persistent vertigo can be due to Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS). A stroke may also cause recurring vertigo. 

  • Traumatic Injuries

Whiplash, concussions, and other types of head or neck injuries can result in post-concussion syndrome. Chronic vertigo attacks are just one of the many symptoms of the lingering impact of such trauma. 

A Risk Factor for PPPD 

Some people are at higher risk of experiencing persistent perpetual perceptual dizziness than others. What factor would make a person more prone to PPPD?

  • Other health conditions

Reports show that the majority of PPPD patients also have a generalized anxiety disorder. PPPD can also coexist with depression. In fact, about 45% of patients deal with both of these chronic problems at the same time. Studies also report that only 25% of PPPD sufferers don’t go through depression or anxiety problems.

These facts make it clear that chronic cases of vertigo are more than just the issues in the ear. We need to examine the central nervous system to discover a long-term solution. A good place to start is right at the atlas vertebra, the uppermost bone in the neck.

Vertigo and Upper Cervical Misalignments

When the atlas (C1 vertebra) is out of its correct alignment, it can impact many body functions, eventually resulting in recurring bouts of vertigo. For example, a misaligned atlas has some connection to migraines and other neurological conditions and vestibular disorders. An atlas misalignment (subluxation) affects the body in these ways:

  • Vestibular Function

The atlas sits directly between the ears. Due to its close location, a misalignment can have a negative effect on the eustachian tubes that facilitate the draining of excess fluid from the inner ear. This leads to vertigo and other vestibular complications such as a feeling of fullness in the ear, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and even temporary hearing loss. 

  • Blood Flow

The cervical spine allows blood flow to the head. Through the vertebral foramen (tiny loops of bone that offer a safe route for the arteries that supply blood to the head), blood flow becomes possible. If the atlas becomes misaligned, it can restrict the free flow of blood and thereby disrupt the function of the central nervous system (CNS). 

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Drainage

When the atlas is out of alignment, this can impede the smooth process of CSF drainage. This can result in clogging of the cerebrospinal fluid, thereby increasing intracranial pressure and leading to all types of neurological problems. 

  • Brainstem Function

The atlas surrounds the brainstem and provides protection for it. However, a misaligned atlas can bring the opposite effect. If brainstem function is impaired, this can have negative effects to the entire central nervous system and have far-reaching impacts on the body.

As I’m trying to point out, the proper alignment of the atlas is an essential part in maintaining the optimum function of the body’s systems that are connected to spatial orientation and balance.  It makes sense why an upper cervical misalignment could be the basis for consistent problems with vertigo. Here’s how to correct this subluxation safely and effectively.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic — A Solution for Vertigo 

Upper cervical chiropractors such as Haan Family Chiropractic in Huxley, Iowa, use extremely gentle and safe techniques to accurately locate and correct atlas misalignments. We only do low force corrections that last for as long as possible and provide the body ample time that is necessary for healing. It is different from general chiropractic techniques that use stronger force and sometimes result in popping or cracking sounds. Many of our patients are surprised with the gentleness and precision of upper cervical chiropractic care. 

If you are suffering from persistent issues with vertigo, especially if you have had an injury to the head or neck in the past, this may be the natural solution for you. Fill out our contact form or call us at 515-597-4600 to set an appointment with me. I’ll let you know if you are a good candidate for this therapy. Give it a try as it is a safe and natural method to get rid of vertigo for good!