chiropractic induced motion sickness

by 63 yr old woman
(Pennsylvania)

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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