Is it Vertigo? Possible Causes of Dizziness Explained

Is it Vertigo? Possible Causes of Dizziness Explained

What is Vertigo?

Have you ever felt like the world was spinning, but you were not moving at all? Have you felt periods of sudden intense dizziness or disorientation where you had to stop and grasp onto something to feel stabilized? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you may be experiencing vertigo. Vertigo is a symptom characterized by dizziness or a sensation of spinning that is commonly caused by sudden head movements. One can also experience nausea, difficulty concentrating, ringing in the ears, and sweating in addition to one’s vertigo. But where is this dizziness coming from?

Causes of Dizziness

Most commonly, vertigo is caused by an issue found in the inner ear due to its function in maintaining one’s balance. Conditions that affect the inner ear and cause vertigo include Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), inner-ear infections, and Meniere’s Disease. Other conditions that have the ability to cause vertigo include migraines, blood pressure conditions, misalignments of spinal segments, Multiple Sclerosis, low blood sugar, trauma to the head, and more. Conditions affecting the cerebellum (which is located at the center of the brain and maintains balance) may also cause dizziness. Due to the multiple conditions that can cause one to experience vertigo, it is important to find the root cause.

Diagnosis With a Greenville Chiropractor

A physical examination performed by a trained physician will help determine where the vertigo is coming from. General Physicians, Physical Therapists, and Chiropractors are a few types of physicians that can analyze vertigo. Chiropractors are highly trained to specifically analyze the spine for areas of dysfunction so that they may return segments to their normal positioning. This helps the brain have free communication with the rest of the body and gives proprioceptors the ability to function at their optimum. In addition, Chiropractors are trained to perform physical examinations to determine what is causing your vertigo. The first test they can perform is blood pressure. Alterations in blood pressure can cause dizziness including both high and low blood pressure. If it is found that you have abnormal blood pressure, a Chiropractor will send you to a General Physician for further evaluation.

Chiropractor Diagnosing Dizziness

Epley’s Maneuver

If blood pressure is ruled out, they can then perform Epley’s Maneuver. Epley’s Maneuver tests the semicircular canals located in the inner ear. These canals detect motion and send those signals to the brain. Inside the canals are crystals that help detect movement. In certain cases, crystals can detach from the canal and become free floating, which can disturb the signals that go to your brain–resulting in a feeling of dizziness. Epley’s Maneuver repositions the crystals to help relieve vertigo.

If Epley’s does not resolve the vertigo, your doctor will then look at your spine for areas called subluxations. Subluxations occur when segments within the spine misalign, putting pressure on the spinal nerves and distorting proprioceptors and mechanoreceptors–all of which can lead to feelings of dizziness or imbalance. At Greenville Spine Institute, we perform thorough inspections consisting of orthopedic, neurological, and physical examinations. If necessary, X-rays will be taken to further assess the condition of your spine. Depending on its condition, a care plan may be developed to help return your spine and Central Nervous System to its optimum function.

Epley's Maneuver to treat vertigo

Chiropractic Care of Vertigo

Chiropractic focuses on maintaining communication between the brain and body through the Central Nervous System (CNS). The CNS consists of your brain, spinal cord, and spinal nerves. When functioning properly, the brain sends signals down the spinal cord and out through the spinal nerves to control everything in the body. In fact, the nervous system is so crucial to the body that it is entirely protected by the spine. However, forces sometimes enter into the spine that misalign segments and place pressure on spinal nerves, cutting off communication between the brain and body.

Receptors in the spine called proprioceptors enable you to judge limb movements, position, and force. Combined with other senses, they help you locate external objects relative to your body and contribute to body image. Proprioception is closely tied to the control of movement. Misalignments of spinal segments create dysfunction to proprioceptors that may, in turn, cause dizziness and disorientation.

How Chiropractic Adjustment Helps Vertigo

A Chiropractor focuses on carefully analyzing the spine to look for areas of misalignment. They first analyze the spine for subluxations by motioning the separate segments of the spine to look for fixation or lack of motion. Next, they feel for swelling and edema. When spinal nerves compress, the area will begin to swell and bring heat to the area, causing pooling edema. When the doctor locates the areas of dysfunction in the spine, they will make gentle adjustments to help you regain normal motion and alignment. Specific adjustments will be made according to the condition of each individual’s spine. If spinal segments become stuck and are left untreated, the spinal segments will begin to decay during a process called Spinal Decay. Spinal Decay can be present without any symptoms due to the fact that only 10% of our spinal nerve functions communicate pain, so it is crucial to have your spine analyzed to prevent this from happening.

Can Vertigo Resolve on Its Own?

It is hard to determine whether your vertigo will resolve on its own without proper examination by a doctor. If the cause of your dizziness is due to an underlying condition, then it is best to resolve that condition immediately before it worsens. Leaving underlying conditions untreated can lead to dire consequences such as permanent physical damage or even death. When physicians diagnose your condition at the first sign of vertigo, they can determine the level of treatment to be completed. If you experience signs of vertigo, please contact a physician immediately.

Vertigo can affect your life on a daily basis. It can affect you when you least expect it–when you are driving, giving an important presentation, or taking care of a family member–and can be especially frightening during these times.

 If you or a loved one suffers from dizziness, schedule a FREE consultation online or by phone at 1 (864) 631-1420 today.

Dr Kevin P Lewis demonstrates the Dix-Hallpike Test & Epley Maneuver

Home Epley Maneuver.” Johns Hopkins Medicine

Taylor, J.L. “Proprioception.” Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Academic Press, 5 Nov. 2008

Vertigo Causes and Treatment.” Causes & Treatment – Illnesses & Conditions | NHS Inform

What are the Common Causes for Shoulder Pain?

What are the Common Causes for Shoulder Pain?

Basics of Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body consisting of four different joints that are surrounded by complex muscles, bursas, joint capsules, and nerve endings. Due to its complex nature, there are many reasons why one may feel many forms of shoulder pain such as discomfort, numbness, weakness, or decreased range of motion in their shoulder.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain could be a result of certain conditions such as dyskinesia of the shoulder, osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tear or tendonitis, subacromial bursitis, frozen shoulder, bicipital tendonitis, rheumatoid Arthritis, shoulder impingement, shoulder dislocation, labral tears, and many more. Depending on your age, sex, occupation, social, or family history, you may be more at risk for suffering from one of the aforementioned shoulder conditions. In fact, approximately 18 million Americans suffer from shoulder pain each year. If you or someone you know is suffering from shoulder pain, the best course of action to find a resolution to one’s problem would be to get it thoroughly assessed by a professional.

Getting Diagnosed

What many people don’t know is that one of those professionals they can seek care from is a Chiropractor. A Chiropractor is highly skilled in the anatomy and physiology of the soft tissue surrounding the joint such as muscles, joints, ligaments, and also the nerves which control the shoulder. But what would a Chiropractor be looking for when assessing a shoulder?

Shoulder Pain Being Diagnosed by Doctor

Collecting Patient History

Due to the complexity of the shoulder girdle and the multitude of conditions that can occur in the shoulder, a thorough assessment is crucial in diagnosing what is causing one’s shoulder pain. However, first, a history must be taken to determine what has caused the shoulder pain whether it was caused by a previous trauma, overuse, or an insidious onset. If a trauma has occurred, such as a fall on an outstretched hand, or blow to the back of the shoulder, a rotator cuff tear, ligamentous instability, or fracture may be suspected. In order to diagnose a rotator cuff tear or instability, a physical examination and orthopedic testing would be done to the shoulder to determine if an MRI is necessary to further diagnose the severity of the condition.

Your Greenville Chiropractor would also refer a patient to a trusted orthopedic specialist and physical therapy for rehabilitation of the shoulder. The medical team would work in partnership for the patient’s best outcome. If a fracture is suspected, additional orthopedic tests can be performed along with an X-ray to finalize whether a fracture is present. Similar to a rotator cuff tear, the patient would be referred to an orthopedic specialist to further assess the patient’s complaint.

XRAY of Shoulder to Help Diagnose Shoulder Pain

Identifying the Source of Joint Pain

Once a tear, instability, or fracture is ruled out, further orthopedic testing can be done to determine whether the pain is coming from an osseous misalignment or soft tissue. Soft tissue problems that can commonly occur are conditions such as adhesive capsulitis (aka frozen shoulder) which presents as pain and severely decreased range of motion, bicipital tendonitis which would cause pain in the anterior portion of the shoulder, subacromial bursitis which would cause pin-point pain at the superior aspect of the shoulder, or impingement whose pain varies in location depending on the type of impingement occurring. For each soft tissue condition, conservative care is recommended for the treatment which can be done in the office and at home after a proper examination is performed and a specific care plan is made for you.

Correcting Misalignment is Critical to Avoiding Soft Tissue Damage

If it is found during the physical and orthopedic examination that a person’s shoulder pain is a result of an osseous misalignment of the shoulder girdle that could be treated by chiropractic care, then a specific care plan would be created for the patient to return the bones to their normal alignment and stabilize the area of concern. There are multiple ways that the shoulder could misalign because there are four different joints that make up the shoulder girdle, with the scapula, humerus, and clavicle making up those joints. Misalignment of the shoulder can occur from falls, poor posture, overuse, etc. It is important to have normal alignment of the shoulder because the shoulder is solely held together by soft tissue such as muscle and ligaments, therefore, when the shoulder misaligns, the muscles and ligaments will become distorted which will lead to them being more prone to injury and tearing. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that the shoulder girdle is aligned to prevent future avoidable injury.

Where Pain is Felt vs Where it Originates May Be Different

In addition to having the shoulder girdle thoroughly assessed, it is important to also assess the cervical spine for injury or degeneration due to the fact that the nerves that exit from the cervical spine directly innervate the shoulder. If a nerve is compressed upon, a person can experience pain that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and down the arm. If the nerve pressure is not addressed, the nerve will, unfortunately, begin to degenerate which will lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of sensation in the area. It is crucial to have your spine checked for nerve pressure as soon as symptoms arise to prevent the nerve from degenerating.

The most efficient way to get rid of your shoulder pain is to get a thorough examination done to locate the root cause of your problem. A Chiropractor is highly trained in assessing both the shoulder girdle and cervical spine to help find the root cause of your problem so that you can return to living your life free of pain and restriction. In our office, an in-depth case history will be taken to assess when the issue began, any injuries or overuse that may have damaged the area, and how it is affecting your life. A 36-point examination will then be performed which includes physical, neurological, and orthopedic tests to determine what may be causing your problem. Lastly, if deemed necessary, an X-ray will be taken to further assess the area. If it is found that you may need further care that we cannot render in our office, we ensure that we will send you to the facility that can care for you.

Our goal is to help you feel liberated from pain and restriction so that you can live your life in the best way possible. Don’t let shoulder pain steal another second of joy from your life! Schedule a FREE consultation online or by phone at 1 (864) 631-1420.

McGrew, Chris, and Andrew Ashbaugh. Checklist for Physical Examination of the Shoulder.

McHugh, Brian MD. “Common Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease.” Spine, 2017

Miniato, Mohammed A. “Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Shoulder.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 31 July 2020

Shoulder Anatomy.” Kent Orthopaedic Practice

Souza, Thomas A. Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2018.