Vertigo is one of the primary symptoms of Meniere’s disease. As vertigo chiropractors in Morgantown, West Virigina, we can attest to the challenges that our vertigo patients have faced prior to seeking our care. The good news is that upper cervical chiropractic can help with vertigo of various types, including vertigo stemming from Meniere’s disease.
Meniere’s disease was identified and named as a health condition in 1861. At the time, French physician Prosper Meniere developed a theory that conditions such as vertigo, tinnitus, fluctuating hearing loss were ear-related issues. The theory was eventually accepted, and the disease was named after Dr. Meniere.
Meniere’s disease and its symptoms vary from one individual to another. While it knows no age limit, people in their 40’s and 50’s are usually affected. Some people may experience isolated episodes of their symptoms flaring up, while others may have them in clusters over a few days or weeks.
Understanding Meniere’s Disease
One problem with Meniere’s disease is that it’s considered chronic and incurable. In the United States alone, more than 600,000 people across the country are affected.
A person with this condition deals with the buildup of excess fluid within the ear. This fluid is called endolymph.
While extensive research and studies were done over the years, doctors have not agreed upon the exact reason for the development of Meniere’s disease. An overproduction or lack of absorption of the fluid is a possible cause for the endolymph buildup, but that isn’t 100% clear yet.
There are several theories as to what causes Meniere’s disease, such as genetics, viral infections, circulatory problems, or an autoimmune reaction. Some experts attribute it to stress or anxiety, alcohol use, allergies, and fatigue.
There is also the idea that migraines, along with trauma to the head or neck, or a side effect of medications, causes Meniere's.
The Stages of Meniere’s Disease
Experts have narrowed down the stages of Meniere’s disease into three, all of which unfold over time.
The initial stage of Meniere’s comes in the form of a vertigo attack that may last up to 20 minutes or for an entire day. When this happens, the affected ear may feel full or blocked, giving the person a feeling of hearing loss.
Some people also experience tinnitus on the affected ear, wherein they experience a continuous ringing sound that is not actually present in the environment around them. After this, the disease may move into an extended period of asymptomatic remission.
The middle stage of Meniere’s disease may last for several months. In this stage people may experience fewer vertigo attacks. However, the episodes of tinnitus and fluctuating hearing loss continue, and may even grow severe.
During the later stages of Meniere’s, vertigo attacks are almost non-existent. But this is also the period where hearing loss becomes more and more prominent. As the symptoms worsen, the person’s balance and gait are affected.
What Are the Relief Options?
Doctors believe Meniere’s disease is an incurable condition, and there is no standard method to eliminate all symptoms. But here are some of the sustainable options for Meniere’s disease patients, which primarily involve diet and lifestyle changes.
A low-sodium diet
Reducing the salt intake lowers the fluid retention in the body. With less fluid, there is lower pressure in the inner ear. At the very least, this method can help alleviate that symptom.
Managing caffeine intake
Caffeine consumption has a direct effect on the tinnitus associated with Meniere’s disease. Reducing the amount of coffee you drink daily may help you deal with the condition better.
Proper stress management
Elevated levels of stress and anxiety easily triggers the symptoms of Meniere’s. But you can combat this by identifying the areas of stress and working to eliminate them. Another way is by using stress management tools to find long-term solutions.
Regular neck checkups
Many patients of Meniere’s disease recall at least one injury or trauma to the head or neck before their diagnosis. In many cases, the damage was mild and occurred a decade or more prior to the onset of Meniere’s. One possible reason is that an upper neck misalignment can create a situation in which a lesion develops on the eustacian tube over time, preventing the proper fluid regulation of the inner ear fluid. Periodic checkups with an upper cervical chiropractor can correct any upper neck misalignments.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Meniere’s Disease Sufferers
The function of the inner ear is closely related to the central nervous system and the upper vertebrae of the neck. The inner ear sits in close proximity to the atlas (C1) vertebra and axis (C2) vertebra, which also house the brainstem. That is why it is crucial to keep the spine properly aligned.
Because the atlas moves more freely than other vertebrae in the spine, it is also more vulnerable to misalignment from accidents, injuries, and everyday wear and tear. This is where the importance of upper cervical chiropractic care comes in.
Vertigo chiropractors in Morgantown, like us at Mountain State Wellness, take a detailed and systematic approach when it comes to the assessment and adjustment of the atlas. We make sure that our patients receive atlas correction specifically customized to their needs.
This attention to detail is the reason why our Meniere’s patients experience the natural, effective, and long-lasting results they’ve been looking for. Our patients have a lot of good things to say about the care that they have received from us.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is all about getting to the root of the problem rather than masking its symptoms. Here at Mountain State Wellness, your health and well-being is our number one priority.
If you would like to find out more about how upper cervical chiropractic care can help your condition, contact us for a complimentary consultation or to schedule an appointment.