Vertigo is a spinning sensation. You may feel like you are spinning or it may appear the things in your environment are spinning. Vertigo is a symptom, not a condition itself. It is often due to an inner ear problem. Some of the most common reasons for vertigo are the following:
- BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo): This is when tiny particles of calcium clump up in the canals of the inner ear. The inner ear is responsible for sending signals to the brain about head and body movement in relation to gravity. This is what helps you keep your balance.
- Meniere’s disease: This is an inner ear disorder related to a buildup of fluid in the inner ear and, in turn, a change in pressure. Vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss are usually present.
- Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis: This is an inner ear problem usually caused by a viral infection that inflames the nerves important for balance.
Vertigo may also be due to other things:
- Medications causing ear damage
- Strokes, tumors, or other brain problems
- Head and neck injuries
Even though vertigo is a symptom, it has certain sensations associated with it:
- Being pulled in one direction
- Being off balance
Other symptoms include those listed below:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Hearing loss
- Nystagmus — abnormal eye jerking movements
Home Remedies for Vertigo
Sometimes vertigo can be improved by trying some of the suggestions below. Please remember to talk to your doctor before implementing any of the following ideas.
- Epley maneuver: This is usually helpful if your vertigo is due to BPPV. You will probably be experiencing vertigo when you get out of bed or tilting your head upward if you have BPPV. To perform the Epley maneuver, do the following:
- Sit on the edge of your bed and turn your head 45 degrees toward the affected ear. Put a pillow beneath you near where your shoulders would rest rather than your head.
- Lie down quickly, face up, with your head on the bed still at a 45-degree angle. The pillow should be under your shoulders.
- Wait for any vertigo to stop. This should take about 30 seconds. Then, turn your head 90 degrees in the opposite direction without lifting it up and wait another 30 seconds.
- Sit up slowly, but remain on the bed for a few minutes.
- Do this 3 times before bed each night until you experience a full 24 hours without dizziness.
- Ginger tea: Ginger, while well known for helping with nausea, has also been seen to fight vertigo. A study in the US Library of Medicine reported that ginger root was able to significantly reduce vertigo when compared to a placebo. Steep your ginger root in a cup of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Add raw honey if desired. Drink two times a day to keep vertigo away.
- Almonds and milk: Almonds, rich in Vitamins E and B, are an effective remedy for vertigo. Soak 4 raw almonds in filtered water overnight. In the morning, grind the almonds and create a fine paste. Add this paste to a glass of warm milk and drink.
- Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C: Yes, it really is this simple. A study done by the Hiroshima University School of Medicine in Japan found patients suffering from Meniere’s disease (which has vertigo as its main symptom) who took daily vitamin C had improvement in their vertigo. To keep your diet rich in vitamin C you should eat more of these fruits and vegetables:
- Green peppers
- Dark green leafy veggies
- Sweet potatoes
- Gingko biloba: One of the most widely researched herbs in the world, gingko biloba is known for increasing blood flow to the brain. It can also help prevent or even reverse tinnitus, macular degeneration, short-term memory loss, and loss of taste or smell. It has to be good quality gingko, however, containing 24 percent ginkgo heterosides or ginkgolides. *Check with your doctor before taking this herb.
- Coriander seeds, gooseberry powder, and raw honey. Coriander is a good source of phytonutrients, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, and manganese. Gooseberry has a high vitamin C content. It helps your body absorb nutrients better and nourishes the brain, improving mental function. When taken together in combination with raw honey, vertigo can be improved. Soak a tablespoon of coriander seeds and gooseberry powder in filtered water overnight. Strain and add honey. If you drink this when you have an attack of vertigo, you may feel instant relief.
- Lemon balm: Known for relieving insomnia, nervous tension, depression, vertigo, and migraines, lemon balm is thought to be one of the fastest home remedies for vertigo. Bring a cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add a teaspoon of dried lemon balm. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, then strain into a cup and drink a few times a day when experiencing vertigo.
Finding Natural Relief for Vertigo
If the remedies mentioned above have not helped your vertigo, or if even you have experienced some relief, you may still need to get to the root of the problem. Vertigo has been connected to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae. If these bones have moved out of alignment, they can put the brainstem under pressure. The brainstem is the communication highway of the body. If it is malfunctioning and telling the brain that the body is in motion when it is not, vertigo can be the end result.
Using a gentle method, upper cervical chiropractors encourage the bones of the neck to move back into place naturally. Popping or cracking the back or neck is not required to get positive results. Often, patients see an improvement in vertigo shortly after seeking our care.