Balance Disorders affect nearly 90 million Americans each year, is the second most common complaint heard in doctors’ offices and the number one health complaint of patients over the age of 70. There are more than a dozen balance, or vestibular, disorders though some are more common that others. Balance disorders make a person feel dizzy or unsteady, sometimes causing a feeling of moving, spinning or floating though the person is standing still or lying down. There is a lot of research being conducted with regards to balance disorders and one treatment that is gaining ground and helping patients find quick relief is Chiropractic Neurology.
Balance disorders can be caused by other health problems such as inner ear problems or health issues linked to the brain or even certain medications. Our sense of balance is primarily controlled by a structure in our inner ear called the Labyrinth. At one end of the labyrinth is a complex system of loops and pouches that help maintain our balance. At the other end, there is a snail-shaped organ called the cochlea, which enables hearing. Together, all the parts that make up the inner ear are known as the vestibular system. Our vestibular system works with other sensory systems in the body such as the eyes, bones and joints to help us maintain body position while at rest or in motion. Our eyes work with the vestibular system to keep objects from blurring when our heads move and to keep us aware of position. Sensory receptors in our joints and muscles also help us maintain balance when we stand still or walk. Our brain works in concert, receiving, interpreting and processing the information from these systems to control our sense of balance.
When an interruption in the proper working of these systems occurs, a person might develop symptoms of a balance disorder including: Dizziness or vertigo, falling or feeling as though you are going to fall, lightheadedness or a floating sensation, blurred vision or confusion. Other symptoms such as nausea, anxiety and changes in blood pressure are also possible and the frequency and duration of symptoms varies from person to person. When experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to talk with your doctor.
There are many different types of balance disorders but some are more common than others. Some of the most common balance disorders are below:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or Positional Vertigo is characterized by a brief and intense episode of vertigo due to changes in the position of the head. A person may feel as though they are spinning. This can result from a head injury or from aging.
- Labyrinthitis is an infection or inflammation of the inner ear. Causing dizziness and loss of balance, it is typically associated with upper respiratory infections.
- Meniere’s Disease is associated with a change in the fluid volume in parts of the labyrinth. Episodes of vertigo, irregular hearing loss, tinnitus or a feeling of fullness in the ear are all symptoms of Meniere’s Disease. The cause is unknown.
- Vestibular Neuronitis, with a primary symptom of vertigo, is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve and usually brought on by a virus.
- Perilymph Fistula is a leakage of inner ear fluid into the middle ear. Though it can be present at birth, it can also occur from head injury, drastic changes in atmospheric pressure, physical exertion or chronic ear infection.
- Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) is a disorder characterized by the feeling of continuous rocking or bobbing and generally happens after sea travel. It usually goes away within a few hours or days of being back on land.
Diagnosing a balance disorder can be tricky but there are many tests that can determine if a patient is suffering from a balance disorder and its severity. Treatments for balance disorders are as varied as the number of disorders out there but the first step is usually to determine if the balance disorder is the result of an underlying medical condition or a condition unto itself. Some doctors in the past have relied on medications and lifestyle changes as approaches to balance disorder treatment. In severe cases, surgery has been recommended. However, Chiropractic Neurology offers patients treatment that is effective, fast-acting and drug and surgery free.
Employing techniques such as auditory and other sensory therapies, balance and coordination activities, chiropractic adjustments, physical exercises and many other safe and effective techniques, Chiropractic Neurologists target and treat the underlying cause of the symptoms. Highly trained experts in the areas of the brain, spine and nervous system, Dr. Marc Ellis and his team at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center treat brain and nervous system conditions like balance disorders along with many others, that have not responded well to more aggressive and traditional methods using drugs or surgeries.
For patients that are experiencing balance disorders, or other conditions related to the brain or nervous system, Chiropractic Neurology provides a new avenue of hope for successful treatment. For a consultation, please contact us today at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center.