“Dysfunction in the craniocervical junction can often be the cause vertigo symptoms”

Vertigo is a complex diagnosis that includes many variants. To say we ‘treat vertigo” in this office is somewhat of a misnomer. Instead of treating the symptom of vertigo itself, we assess for dysfunction of the craniocervical junction and treat for misalignment in the area. Dysfunction in the craniocervical junction can often be the cause vertigo symptoms, both in formally diagnosed and undiagnosed cases. If your vertigo symptoms are being caused by dysfunction in the craniocervical junction, removing the cause can alleviate the symptom.

What is craniocervical dysfunction (chiropractically termed upper cervical misalignment or care)? The craniocervical area is right at the top of your spine where your neck connects to your skull. Dysfunction in that area consists of injured ligaments, muscles, even dura mater, etc. These structures, when healthy, keep the atlas bone at the top of the spine able to move freely without sliding into positions and structures that it normally wouldn’t or shouldn’t. Their injury decreases the tensile strength of the ligaments and thereby allows the atlas bone to move into positions that can be inflammatory. In some cases, rotational misalignment of the occipito-atlanto-axial joint has been observed to negatively affect blood flow and or cerebrospinal fluid flow to and from the head. These altered flow dynamics can directly relate to symptoms of vertigo, or what we call vertebrobasilar insufficiency. In other cases, misalignment of the CCJ can put indirect soft tissue pinch or pull on inner ear structures, causing vertigo symptoms.

Before we accept a vertigo patient, it is imperative that we assess the craniocervical junction (the area at the top of your neck) for stability and vascular health. Basically, we need to ensure that it is safe to work with each individual patient before we proceed with care. If there is prior imaging, X-ray, MRI, or CT in the brain or cervical spine of an incoming vertigo patient, we always view these studies first. If there are no prior studies, we will be able to order these if they are needed in order to complete the clinical picture. Not all patients need MRI or CT.

We can help a great number of vertigo patients. See what our patients have to say below, and call today for your appointment!

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Precision Chiropractic West. Your West Des Moines Chiropractor. Call Us Today!

(515) 224-1093


2501 Westown Pkwy.
Suite 1202 1/2
West Des Moines, IA 50266

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