Hi. I'm Dr. Ray Drury with the Upper Cervical Spine Center, andone of the questions I frequently get asked is about dizziness.Where does dizziness come from? What causes it? How come every timeI stand up, I get lightheaded and it takes me a few seconds to getmy bearings and get straightened out?
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Well, there are a few different reasons why people could havedizziness. Many people take a lot of different medications, and acommon side effect is dizziness. Rarely, and very rarely, therecould be some sort of a tumor or some sort of growth that could beaffecting your balance. What I have seen frequently for themajority of cases in our office is that something is going on inthe upper part of the neck. Now, how could something in the neckcreate dizziness? Most of the time what we have found is thatdizziness comes from the brain trying to figure out where it is inspace. It's the same reflex that causes seasickness. So in the caseof seasickness, your eyes look out on a flat horizon. They tell thebrain, “You should be still.
You should be level.” But then the fluid in your ears and themessages from your ear to the brain tell the brain you're moving,so the brain gets confused and can't quite figure it out. It thenmakes you a little bit dizzy. Sometimes, the dizziness hits so hardthat it goes straight into nausea, and sometimes even vomiting. What we have found is that there is something going on withthe message from the ear to the brain that is getting distorted,which is then making the brain confused, so it creates thesensation of dizziness. Now, how could that possibly be?
You see, a lot of times, if you've had dizziness, you'veprobably been to an ENT or your medical doctor, even urologist, andthey'll look at your ear and try to figure out if there issomething going on with the ear. Most of the time, they'll find that the ear's perfectlyfine. Well, if the ear is perfectly fine, then how could themessage somehow get distorted to the brain, making the brainconfused? What we have found is that there are a couple of bones atthe very top of the neck. There's a nerve that goes from the earthat sends the message to the brain, called the stimula cochlearnerve.
The cochlear part is your hearing. The stimula part is thebalance part. If that message, before it gets to the brain, getsaltered at the top of the neck, then it sends a different messageto the brain, and the brain has a hard time putting it together andtrying to figure out exactly where you are in space. This is wherethe dizziness comes from, and sometimes it gets to the point whereyou could experience vomiting, which is the same reflex asseasickness. There are no nerves that come off of the brain.All the nerves in the head, face, neck, your vision, taste, smell,hearing, and balance all come off from the head, from thebrainstem, and go back up into the head, face, and neck.
Therefore, if a bone is out of alignment here, it couldinterfere with the message between the ear and the brain, causingthe dizziness. That is why the righting reflex, that wholeseasickness type sensation, is why they treat dizziness withmedications like Dramamine, which is the same medication they givefor seasickness. It is because it's the same situation. It issimply just a confusion. The brain is saying, "Hey, nothing'smaking sense here." So it creates that dizzy sensation.
Taking the medications obviously aren't going to fix theproblem. It's just going to temporarily mask it because you don'thave a drug deficiency that creates your dizziness. There'ssomething going on within you. So what we've got to do is try andfigure out exactly what's going on inside your body that could becreating the problem. If you have a bone that is out of alignmentat the top of your neck, then that is where we can help you. If you are having dizziness or vertigo sensations, thebest thing you can do is rule out that there may be a problem atthe top of your neck. If there is a problem, go see an uppercervical doctor and let them fix it. Then the problem goes away. Ifthere is not a problem, then at least you ruled that out, and wepromise to continue to look to try to find someone else that couldpossibly help you.
If you live in the Charlotte area, we’re the doctor for you.We’re located on W. Arrowood Road, real convenient to 77 and 485.That includes Ballantyne, Gastonia, Huntersville, Cornelius, RockHill, Fort Mill, Matthews, and Pineville. Give our office a call.We never charge for the initial consultation to see if you mighthave an upper cervical problem creating your symptoms. If youdo, we'll explain to you what we need to do to try and fix it. Ifyou don't, we'll rule that out, and we'll try to find anotherspecialist for you that can help. Give our office a call at704-588-5560. We'll get you in our office as soon as we can. We'llget to the root cause of your problem, and then we'll tell you whatwe need to do to try and fix it. I hope you have a great afternoon,and I hope this information helps you. I look forward to meetingyou soon. Take care.