Vertigo is definitely associated with an ear infection or and ear problem. But it could also be a reason to see your Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractor. Not because I can help your ear infection but because it could be coming from your upper neck. So, if your ear has improved but your dizziness hasn’t it may be a good time to give us a call.
When someone experiences dizziness, also called vertigo, the whole world seems to spin out of control with the nearest solid object becoming a lifesaver. Vertigo is a common complaint, especially after head and neck trauma. It may come from problems in the inner ear, or from disturbances in pathways in the nervous system. The experience can be impact your whole world, causing nausea, vomiting, and sweating.
If you are having trouble with vertigo, your chiropractor may be able to help. In a recent report in Livestrong, chiropractic solutions are outlined. Chiropractic manipulation can help solve vertigo: “Your chiropractor will use manipulation targeting joints that are not moving properly. In the upper neck, faulty motion patterns create misinformation about body position and movement going from the joints to the brain. This type of vertigo, called cervicogenic vertigo, can be helped by chiropractic manipulation.”
Positioning Maneuvers: The inner ear houses the body’s true balance center, the vestibulocochlear system. This complex system of fluid-filled tubes lined with hair-like sensors provides information to the central nervous system about position and movement. In some individuals, debris may accumulate in there. If this debris settles on sensitive areas within the tubes, it may result in vertigo.
If the patient’s vertigo appears to be coming from the inner ear, a chiropractor may use the Epley Maneuver to reposition the debris to a more innocuous position.
Your chiropractor will have exercises to help too. Exercises like the Brandt-Daroff technique have the person sit on the edge of a bed and flop first to one side, back upright, then to the other side at one-minute intervals. Tai chi exercise may also help as slow, controlled movements provide a safe way to focus on your body movements and balance.
Your chiropractor will discuss your diet and daily habits to pinpoint other reasons for vertigo. Tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that stimulate or depress the nervous system may become triggers. And non-prescription sleeping pills or antihistamines can spark dizziness. Your chiropractor may also suggest meditation, relaxation, or breathing techniques to regain control.
As you pursue diet, new daily habits, and relaxation techniques, be sure to discuss changes with your doctor to complete your health picture.
We are coming into flu and cold season! Many patients ask if chiropractic can help with ear infections. People seem to ask about that one the most. Some we can help and some need to be referred out. Your Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia Chiropractor is a good place to start to see if conservative care can help.
Ear problems can be excruciatingly painful, especially in children. With 10 million new cases every year, ear infections (otitis media) are the most common illness affecting babies and young children and the number one reason for visits to the pediatrician—accounting for more than 35 percent of all pediatric visits.
Almost half of all children will have at least one middle ear infection before they’re a year old, and two-thirds of them will have had at least one such infection by age 3. The symptoms can include ear pain, fever, and irritability. Otitis media can be either bacterial or viral in origin, and frequently results from another illness such as a cold. For many children, it can become a chronic problem, requiring treatment year after year, and putting the child at risk of permanent hearing damage and associated speech and developmental problems.
Standard treatment for most cases of otitis media is with antibiotics, which can be effective if the culprit is bacterial (antibiotics, of course, do nothing to fight off viruses). But, according to many research studies, antibiotics are often not much more effective than the body’s own immune system. And repeated doses of antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant bacteria that scoff at the drugs, while leaving the child screaming in pain.
Frequent ear infections are also the second most common reason for surgery in children under 2 (with circumcision being the first). In severe cases—for example, when fluids from an ear infection haven’t cleared from the ear after several months, and hearing is affected—specialists sometimes prescribe myringotomy and tympanostomy, more commonly known as “ear tubes.” During the surgical procedure, a small opening is made in the eardrum to place a tube inside. The tube relieves pressure in the ear and prevents repeated fluid buildup with the continuous venting of fresh air. In most cases, the membrane pushes the tube out after a couple of months and the hole in the eardrum closes. Although the treatment is effective, it has to be repeated in some 20 to 30 percent of cases. And this kind of surgery requires general anesthesia, never a minor thing in a small child. If the infection persists even after tube placement and removal, children sometimes undergo adenoidectomy (surgical removal of the adenoids)—an option that is effective mostly through the first year after surgery.
Before yet another round of “maybe-they’ll-work-and-maybe-they-won’t” antibiotics or the drastic step of surgery, more parents are considering chiropractic to help children with chronic ear infections. Dr. Joan Fallon, a chiropractor who practices in Yonkers, New York, has published research showing that, after receiving a series of chiropractic adjustments, nearly 80 percent of the children treated were free of ear infections for at least the six-month period following their initial visits (a period that also included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks).
“Chiropractic mobilizes drainage of the ear in children, and if they can continue to drain without a buildup of fluid and subsequent infection, they build up their own antibodies and recover more quickly,” explains Dr. Fallon. She’d like to see her pilot study used as a basis for larger-scale trials of chiropractic as a therapeutic modality for otitis media.
Dr. Fallon uses primarily upper-cervical manipulation on children with otitis media, focusing particularly on the occiput, or back of the skull, and atlas, or the first vertebra in the neck. “Adjusting the occiput, in particular, will get the middle ear to drain. Depending on how chronic it’s been and on where they are in their cycle of antibiotics, children generally need to get through one bout of fluid and fight it off themselves.” That means, for the average child, between six and eight treatments. If a child’s case is acute, Dr. Fallon will check the ear every day, using a tympanogram to measure the ear and track the movement of the eardrum to make sure that it’s draining. “I’ll do adjustments every day or every other day for a couple of days if they’re acute, and then decrease frequency over time.”
Dr. Fallon, whose research garnered her the acclaim of childrearing magazines like Parenting and Baby Talk, often sees great success when she treats a child for otitis media. “Once they fight it themselves, my kids tend to do very well and stay away from ear infections completely. Unless there are environmental factors like smoking in the house, an abnormally shaped Eustachian tube, or something like that, they do very well,” she says.
“I have two large pediatric groups that refer to me on a regular basis. In the winter, when otitis is most prevalent, I see five or six new children each week from each group,” says Dr. Fallon. “It’s safe and effective and something that parents should try, certainly before inserting tubes in their children’s ears.”
Chiropractic Care Can Help…
Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about your child’s ear infections. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages and will use a gentler type of treatment for children.