answers-to-the-6-most-frequently-asked-questions-about-bppvOne of the most common causes of vertigo is BPPV. Vertigo is the false feeling that you or the world around you is spinning even when you’re staying still. Although prevalent, most people are unfamiliar with or have little knowledge of BPPV.

Let’s put a spotlight on BPPV today and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the illness. We hope this helps you obtain a better understanding of BPPV and have a well-informed decision when it comes to choosing relief options.

Question #1: What does BPPV stand for?

BPPV is an acronym for “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.” For easier comprehension, this is what each word is describing:

  • Benign – BPPV symptoms may be severe at times, but the condition, in general, is benign or not life-threatening.
  • Paroxysmal – This word pertains to the periodic nature of the illness. BPPV can give brief and sudden attacks that increase in intensity and then stop.
  • Positional – Certain head movements or positions trigger episodes of BPPV.
  • Vertigo – The main symptom of BPPV is vertigo, which is the false sensation of rotational movement.

Question #2: How prevalent is BPPV?

Approximately 2.4% of the population will experience BPPV once in their lifetime. Most reported cases are in adults, particularly seniors. In contrast, children very rarely get affected. In most cases, doctors are not able to pinpoint the exact cause of BPPV, although it is believed that migraines, head trauma, inner ear infections, and other health conditions contributed to the onset of BPPV.

Question #3: What causes BPPV?

BPPV occurs when the otoconia, or tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear, move out of the utricle and enter one of the fluid-filled canals where they don’t belong. Otoconia play a part in maintaining the body’s sense of balance and motion. When otoconia interrupt the normal flow of fluids in the inner ear, false signals are sent to the brain, which can cause vertigo. A sudden head movement such as rolling over in bed can give the sensation of spinning.

Question #4: What are the trademark symptoms of BPPV?

Bouts of vertigo are the hallmark symptom of BPPV. It can be so severe and can come on so unexpectedly that people also call them “drop attacks.” The spinning sensation also makes BPPV sufferers experience nausea and vomiting. During episodes, you might lose your balance or feel unsteady on your feet. BPPV symptoms usually last from a few seconds to several minutes or more. Once the episode ends, lingering dizziness and instability may continue. The first vertigo attack is often the worst and succeeding ones are milder.

Question #5: What is the Epley maneuver?

The Epley maneuver is one of the several treatment options in relieving BPPV symptoms. It is done by taking the head through specific ranges of motion to guide the loose otoconia back to their original place. Depending on where these calcium crystals are located, the maneuvers can work in getting rid of BPPV symptoms. To ensure that there aren’t other underlying health concerns related to your BPPV and guarantee that the treatment is correctly rendered, it is best to seek out the help of well-trained doctors and healthcare providers.

Question #6: What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic care and how can it help treat BPPV?

Within the chiropractic field is a specialization that many vertigo sufferers take advantage of – upper cervical chiropractic care. This treatment concentrates exclusively on the topmost vertebrae in the spine – the atlas and axis – to safeguard their correct positioning. An upper cervical misalignment can impact your body’s ability to function normally.

In the case of vertigo or BPPV, the upper cervical spine is important for two reasons:

  1. The upper cervical spine and the inner ear are situated close to each other.  An atlas misalignment can alter how the inner ear performs and communicates with the brain, including how it communicates information about the body’s position in space.
  2. The atlas and axis vertebrae of the upper cervical spine protect the brainstem from damage.  The brainstem oversees the regulation and integration of information received regarding how your body is positioned and sends the proper signals in response so that your body does not get off-balanced.

When the atlas alignment is skewed, the inner ear can malfunction and the atlas can cause irritation to the brainstem, leading to irregularities in the way signals are interpreted and sent to the brain. Here at Evoke Spinal Care in Pleasant Hill, California, we practice upper cervical chiropractic care that focuses on correcting the atlas misalignment through a gentle adjustment to put it back to its normal position.

Once the atlas returns to its proper alignment, your body’s normal performance can come back naturally. The longer you can hold your alignment, the more your body can function at its optimum. We only adjust the spine when necessary, making it a natural and painless way to attain a long-lasting relief from vertigo and other related conditions. With a vertigo specialist clinic like Evoke Spinal Care, you can bring return to your healthy, normal life.