Vertigo & Dizziness

Dizziness is a common symptom for individuals deciding to initially present to Chiropractic practices, particularly after experiencing head and/or neck trauma. Vertigo is a sense of intense dizziness or spinning, sometimes associated with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sweating. It can be a very distressing and debilitating complaint for the individual experiencing the symptoms.

It can have many causes and in most cases it is a treatable condition. The treatment used obviously depends on the cause. That is why the chiropractor has to do a thorough examination when you first come in for assessment. The good news is that the most common causes respond well to conservative care. Functional spinal problems, particularly in the upper neck, can produce symptoms of dizziness. If this is the cause, symptoms will respond well to normal chiropractic adjustment techniques applied carefully to the neck.

There are other, more serious, causes of vertigo such as stroke, tumours and neurological diseases such as multiple scelorosis. With these conditions there are other symptoms present as well and they are normally picked up in the chiropractic and neurological examination, in these cases medical referral is warranted.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo for which people present to chiropractic offices. BPPV is an inner ear condition that causes brief, severe episodes of vertigo, feeling like the room is spinning. In half of all cases BPPV is called "idiopathic" - which means, frustratingly, it occurs for no known reason.

Chiropractors are able to diagnose this condition after taking a full case history and performing a physical and neurological examination to exclude other causes. The condition is alleviated using certain repositioning manoeuvres and vestibular rehabilitative exercises.


Richard G. Strunk and Cheryl Hawk. Effects of chiropractic care on dizziness, neck pain, and balance: a single-group, preexperimental, feasibility study.J Chiropr Med. 2009 Dec; 8(4): 156–164.

Kendall JC, Hartvigsen J, French SD, Azari MF. Is there a role for neck manipulation in elderly falls prevention? - An overview.J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2015 Mar;59(1):53-63.

Hilton MP, Pinder DK.The Epley (canalith repositioning) manoeuvre for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Dec 8;(12):CD003162.