Vertigo is described as a spinning sensation as though the person or the things around him are in motion. It is similar, but not the same as, dizziness. Generally, when one thinks of vertigo, the idea is associated with adults, and that makes sense since age is the primary risk factor. It may be surprising to learn, though, that about 5% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 have experienced at least one episode of vertigo or dizziness, with girls having slightly more occurrences (5.7%) than boys (5%). What can cause a child to have this problem?
- Ear infections
- Ear deformities
- Neurological problems
- Injuries or trauma to the head and/or neck
Unfortunately, only 1/3 of parents reported getting an actual diagnosis for their child’s dizziness. Often, a very common underlying issue with children and vertigo is overlooked.
The responsibility of the spine is to act as a protection to the delicate spinal cord. The spinal cord acts as a messenger bringing signals to and from the brain and body. If the top bone of the spine—the C1 vertebra or the atlas—is out of proper alignment, it may put pressure on the spinal cord or brainstem. This compromises the signals being sent and received and may lead to symptoms of vertigo. With children, this can happen due to a fall, a sports injury, or other trauma to the head and neck, even something that occurred during childbirth.
A study was performed involving 60 patients complaining of severe vertigo. They were given precise adjustments to the atlas. Out of these, 48 saw their vertigo go away completely, while the rest saw a huge improvement in the severity and frequency of their episodes.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is safe for children. At Schrier Family Chiropractic, we do not pop or crack the spine or neck in any way. Rather, we use a gentle method that allows the bones to move into place naturally and encourages the healing properties of the body to repair the damage done by the misalignment. Many patients report seeing improvement in vertigo after just a few adjustments.