Cervicogenic Dizziness - Spine 4 life

Cervicogenic Dizziness

Dizziness is a common complaint in the chiropractic office. It is a generic term that must be clearly defined and its cause properly characterized and diagnosed for appropriate treatment to be implemented.

It is a complaint that is often treatable via chiropractic manipulative and myofascial/rehabilitative procedures.

The first stage in the workup of a complaint of dizziness is to accurately identify the actual nature of the symptom. There are essentially four symptoms that can be described by a patient as being "dizziness."

  1. lightheadedness -- The patient feels "not right in the head."
  2. presyncope -- The patient feels "faint."
  3. disequilibrium -- The patient feels off balance, often as if they are being "pulled to one side" and feels as if they could easily fall over.
  4. vertigo -- The patient feels as if they are spinning or the world is spinning around them. This can often occur in acute attacks, or it can be a constant, low level feeling. This can be rotatory or can occur in a sagittal plane.

Because the entire locomotor as well as vestibular and visual system is involved in the regulation of equilibrium, all factors must be considered in the patient who suffers from disorders of this system.

Vetebrobasilar insufficiency can cause vertigo, though with this disorder the vertigo almost never occurs by itself,9 rather being generally accompanied by other symptoms of brainstem ischemia, such as numbness in the ipsilateral face and/or contralateral body; nausea; vomiting; loss of consciousness; visual problems; difficulty walking; incoordination of the extremities; tinnitus; speech problems and nystagmus. The symptoms can be provoked by rotation of the cervical spine, although this is not always the case, and there may be a history of TIA.

When vertigo or disequilibrium is caused by dysfunction in the cervical spine or labyrinythine apparatus, it is most often treatable in the chiropractic setting. Optimum function of the cervical spine is essential to the recovery from these disorders regardless of the cause. Treatment must not only be directed towards the correction of joint dysfunction via manipulation, but must also be directed toward muscular dysfunction, such as myofascial trigger points and muscle tightness.

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