Vertigo or dizziness affects millions of people around the world each year. In a majority of the cases, vertigo is nothing more than a temporary inconvenience. In some cases, vertigo is a debilitating condition. Day to day activities are kept to a minimum due to the severe dizziness.
In many cases, the area of dysfunction in the nervous system is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in the posterior aspect (back part) of the brain and controls our coordinated movements.
There are specific tests that the chiropractic neurologist utilizes to determine cerebellar function. Standing with your feet together and eyes closed, the test is positive if the patient sways back and forth. Other tests include: Touching the index finger to the nose with the eyes closed, walking heel to toe, moving the fingers rapidly as if playing the piano or touching all of your fingers to your thumb as fast as possible. These tests and others are used to determine the function of the cerebellum.
Treatment of the cerebellar dysfunction may include:
1. Unilateral (one sided) Adjustments: Extremities (arms and legs), lumbar (low back) and cervical (neck) spine will be manipulated on one side only to fire muscle spindle cells (muscle receptors) and joint mechanoreceptors (joint receptors) into the same cerebellum and opposite cerebral cortex (brain). The thoracic (mid-back) spine will be globally manipulated to fire the dorsal columns (back part of the spinal cord) and reduce rib fixations.
2. Caloric: A warm water caloric of 180 milliliters may be administered in the ear to stimulate the ipsilateral (or same side) cerebellum.
3. Eye Exercises: Eye exercises may be used to increase the frequency of firing to the cerebellum and frontal lobe of the brain.
4. Heat Therapy: Heat therapy is used to promote an increased metabolic and healing rate to the involved tissue. Increased heat helps increase activation to the brain. Heat has immediate soothing and palliative effects as decreased joint stiffness, decreased muscle spasms and releases histamine and bradykinin thereby causing vasodilation of the tissues.
One or all of the procedures may be employed to restore the cerebellum to its normal function.