chiropractic induced motion sickness

by 63 yr old woman

Experienced some tingling in right arm and hand for a while. This went away and was replaced with some occasional aching in neck and shoulder and faint headache. Went to a chiropractor who did some stimulation, massage of area and then movement of head and neck including quickly turning (snapping?) of neck once in each direction. Within minutes I began experiencing motion sickness. (I have experienced motion sickness my entire life from riding in a car, bus, amusement park rides, etc.)

Usually my motion sickness goes away after laying down for a time or overnight, this did not. It lessened somewhat in the next few days but a week later I am still experiencing waves of the nausea and "floatyness" off and on all day. I have not allowed the chiropractor to do any more adjustments but did have one more stim/massage session. Am I doomed to have constant motion sickness the rest of my life? What are my alternatives for treatment?

Hello 63 year old woman,
It's well known that the patient suffering from vertigo needs to be treated with kid gloves in the chiropractic environment; I hope this all came out in the history taking before treatment.

There are many causes of "motion sickness" but the most common is a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Putting your head into various positions provokes the periodic attacks of vertigo.

If the cause is in the neck, then chiropractic treatment may be the only relief you get; but, more usually the problem is in the inner ear. It's for this reason that I normally treat a patient with "motion sickness" first with the Epley manoeuvres, particularly if there is a positive Hallpark Dix test. You've probably never heard of these, and you can find out more information by typing the terms into the site search function at Chiropractic Help.

You were wise not to allow further manipulation. If your chiropractor has no experience with the Epley manoeuvres, then I would seek help elsewhere. Simply because BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo, that's the place to start.

I assume your blood pressure is normal, or under control. If not, that's the place to start.

Good luck, I hope this contributes. Let us know how you get on.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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