Dizziness, Vertigo, TMJ, Neck Pain and Headaches

Posted in TMJ Disorder on Oct 5, 2020

“Why do I have Dizziness and Vertigo if all my tests are ‘normal?’”

As shocking as it may sound, up to 1 million Australians may experience vertigo or chronic dizziness in their lifetimes. 

What can be especially frustrating for so many people suffering dizziness or vertigo is identifying the cause of their symptoms.

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For many people, they visit the vertigo specialists and dizziness practitioners, they have a list of possible diagnoses, they have a broad series of tests including x-rays, CTs, and MRI scans … but everything comes back looking “normal?”

So how can everything be “normal” if you still experience dizziness or vertigo?

And more importantly, what can you do to help your dizziness or vertigo?

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If you are looking for a natural, drug-free approach to helping your dizziness or vertigo, you may be amazed to learn that the problem could actually be connected with the alignment of your jaw (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ) and your upper neck!


 What do Dizziness and Vertigo have to do with my TMJ?

Your TMJ is a freely movable hinge that contains a small slip of cartilage to help it glide smoothly open and closed. In many ways, your TMJ is similar to your knee.

The cartilage plus the muscles and ligaments that support your jaw also contain three important categories of nerve receptors:


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TMJ Problems are Linked to Problems in the Upper Neck

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  1. Pressure receptors - Called “mechanoreceptors,” these nerve endings help to provide information about pressure and the physical movement of things in your jaw so that you do not cause physical damage.
  2. Pain receptors - Called “nociceptors,” these nerve endings inform your brain about physical damage to your jaw.
  3. Proprioceptors - Proprioceptors are nerve endings that convey information about joint-position sense, and which link directly into the centres of your brain responsible for processing balance and coordination.

These proprioceptors might be the key link between your TMJ and dizziness and vertigo. You see, the balance centres of your brain (called the vestibular nuclei) receive input from three primary sources:


  1. Your inner ear
  2. Your eyes
  3. The proprioceptors in your jaw and upper neck


A problem with the transmission or interpretation of this information from any of these sources may contribute to feelings of dizziness or vertigo.

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The problem is that so much focus of balance and dizziness problems is on the inner ear (or simply treating the symptoms) that the role of the TMJ and the upper neck is often overlooked.


What do Dizziness and Vertigo have to do with my Neck?

The muscles in the upper part of your neck that support the alignment of the top vertebrae - the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) - are also extremely dense in proprioceptors and may also contribute towards feelings of dizziness and vertigo.

In addition, the mechanical orientation of these vertebrae may affect the alignment of the position of the TMJ itself!

The muscles that affect the movement of your jaw are controlled by nerves that descend through your brainstem to the level of the C2 vertebra. Furthermore, the alignment of the C1 and C2 vertebrae themselves affects the centre of gravity of the jaw.

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In other words, a problem with the alignment of your upper neck may create a problem with your jaw that leads not only to dizziness or vertigo, but also to clicking, popping or grinding in your jaw, pain or problems where your jaw gets locked open or closed, or clenching and grindings your teeth (called “bruxism.”)


When your upper neck is involved, it may also be common to experience a variety of additional symptoms that you may not realise could be connected with your dizziness or vertigo:


  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Ear Aches
  • Tinnitus (Ringing ears)
  • Neuralgia (e.g., suboccipital neuralgia or trigeminal neuralgia)
  • Chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia


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Is it TMJ treatment … or is it my neck?

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So if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms in addition to dizziness or vertigo, let me ask you: when is the last time you had a detailed assessment of your neck in order to determine if your symptoms could be coming from a misalignment of your TMJ, C1 or C2 vertebrae?


A Natural, Drug-free approach to helping people with Dizziness or Vertigo

If you are like many people, you would prefer a non-surgical and non-drug approach to being able to improve your dizziness or vertigo.

(Truth be told, you’d probably be willing to actually do anything as long as you could get relief … but we’re talking about preferences).

Especially if the underlying cause of your dizziness, vertigo, or TMJ problem is physical in nature, you probably also realise that medication will never be able to “fix” the problem, only mask the symptoms.

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Indeed, there are many potential therapies that you could pursue to find relief from your dizziness, vertigo or TMJ problem including head, neck or jaw physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, nutrition, medicine, and even vertigo specialist medication.

However, if you had already tried all these different approaches, it may well be that there is still at least one missing piece to the puzzle that you need to address.

So if you are looking for a long-term solution directed at addressing the underlying case of your dizziness, vertigo, or TMJ condition, here is where a novel approach to healthcare called Blair upper cervical care may be able to help you.

Blair upper cervical care is a special division of chiropractic developed and researched in the USA to be precise and specific without employing manual manipulation. Unlike many forms of spinal manipulation, a Blair upper cervical procedure does NOT involve any neck twisting, cracking, or popping … but it also does NOT use any stretching, needles or exercises either.


How does the Blair upper cervical procedure work? 

If you are like many people, you would prefer a non-surgical and non-drug approach to being able to improve

So what is it? And how can it help your dizziness, vertigo, or TMJ problems?

The Blair upper cervical procedures begin with a physical and neurological assessment to identify if you have a problem with the alignment and movement of the vertebrae in your upper neck - the C1 (atlas) or C2 (axis) - that could be related to your problem.

If so, the procedure next involves a series of customised x-rays aligned to the share of your own bone structure.

You see, every human being is built differently on both the outside and also on the inside. In order to identify what is actually going on, it is important to study the alignment of the joints in your upper neck in order to know what your normal bone structure actually is.

Only then is it truly possible or know what abnormal is.

Unlike standard CTs and MRIs, these images are tailored at 3D angles so that any misalignments that are discovered can be used to identify the exact degree and direction for any adjustments/that you need. 

So in this way, the Blair upper cervical procedure designs a specific treatment - made just for you - to help maximise the potential for positive changes in restoring health using the least force possible. 

From here, a Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctor will prescribe an initial course of care.


Can Blair upper cervical care help my Dizziness, Vertigo, or TMJ condition?

Blair upper cervical chiropractic care is based on the natural laws of the human body: that it is the innate mechanisms within the body that provides for health and healing. Our role, thus, is to ensure that those mechanisms are able to function optimally.

In this way, Blair upper cervical care is not a direct treatment for dizziness or vertigo per se.

Nevertheless, based on our understanding of how the body does and does not work - and also in accordance with expectations based on empirical findings and years of clinical practice, a Blair upper cervical adjustment may well be one of the missing pieces to help allow your body to heal so that dizziness and vertigo may not need to dominate your life for the rest of your life.

At Atlas Health, we are dedicated to helping people with chronic health challenges - including dizziness, vertigo, and TMJ conditions that have not responded to other methods - so that they can enjoy the quality of life again they desire most.

Our practice located in North Lakes (north Brisbane) provides care for people across the greater Brisbane areas, Sunshine Coast, and southeast Queensland in addition to travelers interstate and also internationally.

Our principal chiropractic doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, is an advanced certified instructor with the Blair technique. He is an international speaker, lecturer, author, and recognized leader in the field of upper cervical care around the world.

We hope that you have found this article both informative and valuable.

If so, and if you are ready to take the next step to do something different to help your dizziness or vertigo condition, we would be honored to assist you.

Our practice offers a 15-minute over the phone consultation complementary with Dr. Jeffrey Hannah so that you can discuss the individual nature of your condition and so that you can ask any questions that you might have so that you can decide if Blair upper cervical care may be right for you.

You can call our office direct at 07 3188 9329, or complete the form through the Contact Us, and one of our staff will return your email as soon as possible.

We look forward to working with you.

Atlas Health Australia - “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”



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