Among the most common health problems affecting adults in the US today, balance disorders such as vertigo, Meniere’s disease and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV) can stem from problems with the body’s vestibular system, which includes structures of the inner ear, vestibular nerve, brain stem and cerebellum region of the brain. This system integrates perception, coordination and motor control and in turn, regulates balance, posture and the way we orient our bodies in space. There are several treatments available for people who suffer from balance disorders and recent studies have shown that one of the more promising is through the use or auditory, or sound, therapy.
Nearly 40 percent of adults in the United States experience vertigo at least once in their lifetime. There are dozens of balance disorders with a variety of symptoms and variances in the level to which they affect a person. Vertigo, or the sensation that a person or their surroundings are spinning even though they are not moving, is one of the most common balance disorders. Meniere’s disease is a combination of vertigo, low frequency hearing loss and tinnitus and can be debilitating. BPPV is sometimes mistaken for Meniere’s Disease but is typically marked by dizziness resulting from a particular movement. Sometimes mistakenly diagnosed as Meniere’s Disease, BPPV is a complex condition involving sensory pathways in the brain.
Sound therapy acts like physiotherapy for the brain, daily exercises that address the root cause of the physical problems with the ear and brain linked to vertigo, Meniere’s Disease and BPPV. One doctor, Dr Alfred Tomatis, has done extensive research into how sound therapy stimulates the brain and rehabilitates the ear. Dr Tomatis believes that the excess pressure on the vestibular system creates spasms or twitches in the stirrup muscle, leading to conditions like Meniere’s Disease and that the exercise like effect of sound therapy rehabilitates that muscle, stopping the spasms.
Another study by leading Chiropractic Neurologist Dr. Frederick Carrick along with Elena Oggero, and Guido Pagnacco, that was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine also examined the effectiveness of sound therapy to treat balance disorders, on a more specific level. Their study sought to determine if listening to music can cause changes in stability that would be useful to preventing falls and providing balance disorder rehabilitation. Using Computer Dynamic Posturography (CDP), 266 participants were placed into different music listening groups and one control group. After completing a daily listening exercise, the participants completed the CDP 10 minutes, one week and one month after the treatment. The results showed that 73% of the subjects without previous neurological symptoms actually had balance abnormalities, and therefore an increased risk of falling. However, the results also showed that listening to certain types of music had a positive change in stability, therefore decreasing the likelihood of falling and disability due to balance disorders.
While the studies continue into the causes and best courses of treatment for balance disorders, along with other neurological conditions, one thing is certain: the brain has countless ways to rehabilitate the body and renew pathways, restoring balance and health to the overall body, and Chiropractic Neurology continues to be leading the charge. If you are interested in learning more about how Chiropractic Neurology can benefit you or a loved one, please contact Dr. Marc Ellis at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.