Vestibular Disorder Treatment Brisbane
Is it a vestibular disorder … OR is it your neck?
A physical problem with the alignment of your neck may mimic the symptoms of a vestibular disorder.
How frustrating has it looks for answers for your vestibular disorder? How has it impacted your quality of life with your family? With work? With your ability to just “feel normal.”
If you have been searching for answers for your vestibular disorder for any length of time, you have probably seen all the routine vestibular disorder specialists: ENTs, neurologists, vestibular physiotherapists, etc. All of these people can help!
Also, if you find yourself slipping between the cracks - doing all the right things but not experiencing any relief for your vestibular disorder - then you may be feeling helpless that you may never get your life back.
So what if there is something that may be able to help that you have not tried? Would you be willing to try?
It is because certain types of neck conditions can mimic vestibular disorders. Therefore, a specific type of treatment called “upper cervical care” may be able to offer a different approach for a different outcome.
Certainly, I don’t want to make you any empty hope or false promises. I simply want to explain how a different approach to healthcare could be the missing piece of the puzzle to help you with your vestibular disorder.
Not all Vestibular Disorders come from your inner ear
Vestibular disorders are classified in many ways. The most well-known category is vestibular disorders caused by your inner ear organ, which is the primary balance center of your brain.
The most common vestibular disorder diagnoses that fall in this category include Meniere’s Disease, hydrops, Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV) and Vestibular neuritis (aka labyrinthitis). It is believed that the dysfunction of the inner ear organ transmits faulty nerve information to your brain that results in the sense of imbalance, vertigo, dizziness or dysequilibrium.
However, that is only one category of vestibular disorders.
Another major category that you have probably not heard about is known as “Somatosensory vestibular disorders.” These as vestibular disorders that occur when your brain receives faulty nerve information that relates to the position sense of muscles and bones in your body. These types of nerve receptors are collectively known as proprioceptors.
- Proprioceptors are what allow you to touch your nose without seeing it
- Proprioceptors are what allow you to walk in a straight line with your eyes closed
- Proprioceptors are also what allows you to maintain your upright posture
In your spine, the most abundant source of proprioceptors is found in your neck. Specifically, it is the upper part of your neck where the top two vertebrae are located - called the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) vertebrae - that are most important in terms of proprioception.
The number of nerve receptors in this area is so dense that the muscles of your upper neck are widely regarded as the second most important balance organ in your body after your inner ear.
The joints in the upper part of your neck with your atlas (C1) and axis (C2) provide approximately 50% of your total head-neck movement.. However, if you suffer an injury that affects the way these vertebrae can move, it may cause them to misalign.
It is believed that a misalignment even as small as 2mm may be more than enough to cause a shift in the center of your skull of gravity, and thus cause the nerve receptors in your neck to misfire. And when this happens, these nerve receptors may transmit faulty information to the balance and coordination centers of your brain, thereby potentially causing the same symptoms as a vestibular disorder
So it is possible that if you can have a condition affecting your neck health - not your inner ear! - that could be connected with your “vestibular disorder.”
How do I know if my vestibular disorder is connected with my neck?
The most common way that people seeking vestibular disorder treatment discover that the problem may be in their neck.
- You have brain CTs and MRI scans that your specialists say are “all normal.” In other words, when your vestibular disorder specialists can’t find a problem with your brain or with your inner ear, then it actually rules out pathological conditions inside your skull. As frustrating as that may be in your question for answers and for relief, it is always a good thing when you can rule out infections, tumors, bleeding, and neurological disease.
- You have a neck x-ray or CT scan that shows arthritis. Neck arthritis is common because it is the most fragile area of your spine. Degenerative arthritis does not guarantee that you will have a vestibular disorder. However, its presence may offer a partial explanation.
Degenerative arthritis simply means is that you had an injury at some point in the past that affects the structure and alignment of your neck. The arthritis is like rust that has accumulated over the years.
But arthritis is not simply a matter of getting older because it usually doesn’t appear in all places in your spine. It only affects certain areas, which implies that something else like a physical injury is actually the origin of the problem.
Now, even if you don’t experience pain it is possible that damage affecting those proprioceptors - the nerve receptors for balance and coordination in your neck - could still be affected!
That is why they are called “somatosensory vestibular disorders!” It is because a physical, mechanical issue is manifesting as a neurological condition.
- Your symptoms are more noticeable when you move your head, neck or body in certain positions. If head, neck or body movements are the major triggers for your vestibular disorder symptoms, then it is highly likely that the nerve receptors in your neck are involved!
So if the signs point to neck involvement, what is the next logical step? It may well be to seek the opinion of a leader in neck health and whose focus is on the relationship between the upper neck and the nerve system.
Here is where a novel approach to healthcare known as upper cervical care may be able to help you.
What is the Upper Cervical Care different from vestibular disorders?
If you prefer a natural approach to healthcare - where drugs and surgery are reserved as your last option - then Blair upper cervical care may be right for you.
Upper cervical care has a unique focus on the alignment and movement of the top bones in your neck: the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). Because these bones can have such a powerful impact on your brain health by affecting nerve traffic and blood flow, conditions of the upper neck especially deserve special attention.
A certified upper cervical care doctor has completed additional study beyond a standard university degree to know when, where and how to make precise corrections for the alignment of the C1 and C2 vertebrae without twisting, cracking or spinal manipulation.
The purpose of upper cervical care is to restore normal alignment and movement in your upper neck in order to remove the source of physical interference that may be limiting the normal function of your nerve system. When this happens, upper cervical care doctors have observed over the years that many people experience improvements with their vestibular disorders.
Atlas Health Australia is the premier upper cervical specific health center in Queensland, located in North Lakes (north Brisbane). Our principal is Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, who is an advanced certified instructor of the Blair upper cervical technique internationally.
The Blair upper cervical technique is a special division of chiropractic developed and researched in the USA and named after its founder Dr. William Blair. The key difference with the Blair technique is the level of specificity used.
Beyond the standard types of tests performed to diagnose vestibular conditions, a Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctor performs a series of physical and neurological tests that include specific 3D x-rays. Unlike the routine x-rays, CTs or MRIs ordered by many vestibular disorder specialists, these types of images are custom-tailored for your own bone structure.
Every human being looks different on the outside, and also the inside. Therefore, we must take these differences into account in order to be as accurate as possible … especially when we are considering misalignment that may be as small but significant as 2mm!
So when we know the exact direction and degree of any misalignments in your neck, we are able to use a specific and gentle force that is designed just for you in order to correct the alignment of your neck and give you body a much greater chance to do what it is designed to do: to function and heal itself.
How can we help you with your vestibular disorder?
We trust that you find the information in this article has been valuable.
As we said at the start of this article, we don’t believe in “false hope” or empty promises. So do we know exactly what is going on in your individual case? Or that we can even help you in the first place? At this point, of course not.
We believe in real hope for the possibility that there is a solution for your vestibular disorder and that you can enjoy your life again.
So if this message makes both mental and emotional sense then you’d probably like to know how you can take the next step.
The next step is simple: just talk to us.
Even if we can’t diagnose you over the phone, we would be happy to schedule a 15-minute phone consultation for you to speak directly with Dr. Hannah to discuss your particular condition and to ask any specific questions you may have to decide if Blair upper cervical chiropractic care may be right for you.
To accept this complimentary offer, you can call us directly at 07 3188 9329. Alternatively, you can send us an email through the Contact Us link on this page, and one of our staff will return your email/call within 48 hours.
We are here to help you - to offer hope and a different approach to help people realize that fundamental truth that the greatest doctor can be found within their own bodies … if it is just given the chance to do what it is designed to do: flow naturally from within.
Atlas Health Australia - "A passion and purpose for helping people enjoy life again.”
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