neck pain and vertigo

by Dierdre

I've been diagnosed to have BPPV for about 4 years now and it usually lasts from a week or so in my case. Also, my vertigo attacks are mostly preceded by pain on my left sub-occipital area and neck. Because of the unusual nature of my condition, I opted for a NUCCA and had 3 adjustments so far and had experienced neck muscle tightness with it.
During those adjustments, there's been lingering dizziness and vertigo like imbalance.

Is it normal or should I have to address the tightness of my neck muscles as I've read that some trigger points there can also cause such symptoms? After which, is NUCCA still good to continue at the moment? Thanks in advance.

Hello Dierdre,
To be quite honest, I've never heard of NUCCA. However, there's nothing new about upper cervical adjusting; the first generations of chiropractors emphasized what was called "hole in one".
However, the treatment from NUCCA appears to be very gentle, with no manipulation, but is perhaps a good thing with vertigo.

Vertigo, most commonly, has little to do with the neck; it's caused by a problem in the inner ear where debris collects in one of the semicircular canals. The treatment of choice is known as the Epley maneouvres; have you heard of them? Has your doctor recommended it? It's a very safe, non-invasive procedure.

Only once the test for inner ear vertigo is negative, do I personally adjust the cervical spine, also occasionally the cause of vertigo. And may well be the cause in your case, since you have suboccipital pain. However, we tread very carefully with vertigo; frank manipulation can worsen it.

I know nothing of the effectiveness of NUCCA, so I cannot comment; it appears to be very gentle. Perhaps too gentle to achieve much. I also have concerns about the amount of ionisation x-rays you have to receive.

My advice? Find out from your doctor about the Epley manoeuvres. There's a test called the Hallpike Dix test to see if the vertigo is coming from your inner ear; the head is turned in various specific positions and the eyes are watched for "nystagmus?.

If that's negative, or you receive no relief from the Epleys, or NUCCA for that matter, then you might want to see a regular experienced chiropractor.

Good luck; it's a horrible condition, but usually responds to a combination of Epleys and chirorpactic.

Dr B

» neck pain and vertigo

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