Hello Chiropractic Help, I am a 23 year old female who was diagnosed with a Vestibular Migraine. I get a lot of headaches throughout the week and with those headaches I get symptoms of disequilibrium, a little ringing in the ear, and stiffness in the jaw.
I've had this already for three years and I've gotten multiple MRI's, MRA's and CT scans and everything comes out normal. When I came across this page and reading about TMJ I remembered when I would get really bad jaw pains that would last for hours. It has made me wonder if these vestibular migraines may have all started from the TMJ. I would like to know where I can see a good chiropractor that can help me with my situation.
Hello Alexandra, As you've discovered, you're living in a minefield. The great difficulty in all this is to discover what is the primary, underlying cause of all these bizarre symptoms.
Could it be something in your jaw joint, or teeth, or sinuses that is triggering the trigeminal nerve? Or, is it a problem within the ear ear, mostly likely the tiny organs that control once sense of balance. It's directly connected to the eyes. Or is it chocolate, red wine or smelly cheese that's setting it all off. Or, perhaps it's a subluxation in your upper neck, where the sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nucleus is found, triggering pain in the muscles of the face and jaw joint.
Most often, it's you, the patient, who has to work it all out. It's all chicken and egg, and you are the best person, through careful observation to find out what is the primary trigger. There may be more than one, just to add even more difficulties.
Start by doing two little tests, one is easy, and one difficult.
1. Place your index fingers on the jaw joints, just in front of the tragus of the ear. Are they tender? Is one much more tender than the other. Slowly open your mouth and evaluate if they open simultaneously together. Press on the temporalis and masseter muscles. Do they seem inordinately tender and do they cause shooting pain? Place your index finger, pulp outwards, inside your cheek, slide right back to the pterygoid pocket close to the wisdom teeth, and palpate the later pterygoid muscle. Is it very tender on one side? That's the easy one.
2. Have your partner carefully check your eyes when you have an attack of dizziness. Do the pupils zig zag from side to side or in a circle? Lie on a cushion, and put your head and neck into extension, and turn quickly first to one side, back to the centre, and then to the other. Does it make you giddy, and ask your friend if your eyes start to make darting movements? The may last only a few seconds. Look up nystagmus in Google.
3. Turn your head right and left, tilt your head, look up and down. Any inordinate pain? Press on the joints right at the top of your neck, just below the occiput of the skull. Does it seem more tender than it should?
4. Try provoking the symptoms with different foods.
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.
Greetings, Dr B. You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.
Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.
You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.
The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.
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Issue #47: Life without medication/ Eight coloured foods
Issue #46: Lower backs and ankles/ kaempferol and cancer prevention
Issue #45: Tingling, weakness and malaise/ vitamin B1
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The information is to the best of my ability at the time of writing accurate and correct. Queries, comments and corrections are very welcome.