- By: Dr. John Stenberg
- Date: Jan 05, 2019
Ménière’s Disease is a complex condition involving a number of symptoms that vary depending on the individual. More than 200,000 cases of Ménière’s Disease are diagnosed each year based on clinical presentation, but the causes of Ménière’s disease are not well understood by many doctors. This makes it difficult for patients suffering with Ménière’s Disease to find the appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
In its typical presentation, Ménière’s Disease symptoms involves a combination of vertigo and inner ear problems. Vertigo is the abnormal sensation of “the room spinning” which can also involve nausea, vomiting, and balance issues in severe episodes. Inner ear problems associated with Ménière’s Disease typically involve only one ear and include a combination of symptoms including fullness of the ear, tinnitus (ringing or static sound in the ear), and progressive hearing loss. Depending on the individual, the symptoms will vary in intensity, though frequent episodes usually include both vertigo and inner ear symptoms.
Ménière’s Disease in adults is conventionally treated with prescription drugs focused on symptom reduction, dietary modification including low sodium and caffeine elimination, and occasionally vestibular rehabilitation for vertigo related balance issues. With conventional Ménière’s Disease treatment, treatment goals are focused on symptom management and as such the prognosis of recovery is minimal.
An upper cervical chiropractor in Grand Rapids Michigan,Dr. Michael Burcon, has discovered that one of the primary Ménière’s Disease causes that is commonly overlooked in a comprehensive approach to treatment is an injury to the cervical spine (neck region). In working with hundreds of Ménière’s Disease patients from all over the world, Dr. Burcon has consistently found that when the neck-related issues are addressed, patients suffering with Ménière’s Disease often experience a dramatic reduction in symptoms.
It is well established that structure determines function, and the human body is no different. The spine consists of 24 movable segments and performs several vital functions for the body; a structural support and base of movement for the limbs, and to house and protect the central nervous system. The central nervous system includes the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord and serves as the “fiber optic” communication system of the body. The key function of the central nervous system is to detect and adapt to changes in the internal and external environments of the body. The perform these functions optimally, the central nervous system must remain free of obstruction and insult.
The upper cervical spine (upper neck) is the region of the spine most closely associated with vital central nervous system structures including the brainstem and cervical spinal cord. The brainstem acts like a switchboard operator by relaying information from the body to the appropriate region of the brain for processing. Central nervous system imbalance can lead to a disruption or distortion of these nerve circuits ultimately resulting in body system disturbances. These disturbances over time lead to the onset of secondary conditions, a.k.a. Symptoms.
Ménière’s Disease involves a host of symptoms that can be traced back to the central nervous system structures of the brainstem including the cranial nerves, superior cervical ganglion, C1 and C2 spinal nerve roots, and rectus capitis posterior minor (a small muscle of the upper neck with a myodural bridge that attaches it directly to the spinal cord in the upper neck).
With proper mechanical alignment, the upper cervical spine performs safe movement throughout a wide range of motion and transmits no tension or irritation to the central nervous system. When an injury occurs to the upper cervical spine, abnormal mechanics leads to local irritation, inflammation, and central nervous system disturbance. Atlas Displacement Complex, (a.k.a. Upper cervical subluxation) is the term used to describe the complex structural and functional issues related to these injuries.
Atlas Displacement Complex can be caused by forces that damage the soft connective tissues of the upper neck including slips and falls, whiplash injuries, blows to the head, sports collisions, and more. Arthur Croft, the leading expert on whiplash injuries from motor vehicle accidents, describes the “acceleration/deceleration” injury that occurs when a forceful change of direction of the head and neck produces damage in supporting ligaments and tissues of the cervical spine.
Clinical research has found that many Ménière’s Disease patients have experienced these types of injuries in the past, which unfortunately are overlooked in many cases. A comprehensive understanding of the causes of Ménière’s Disease must, therefore, include an exploration of structural insult to the upper cervical spine and subsequent nervous system imbalance. Dr. Burcon’s research with whiplash injuries and one-sided neurological disorders such as Ménière’s Disease confirmed that structural injury and neurological insult are strongly correlated with the onset of Ménière’s Disease and its progression.
Colorado Springs chiropractor Dr. John Stenberg is uniquely trained and qualified in the Blair Upper Cervical approach to correct Atlas Displacement Complex safely, effectively, and conservatively. Using the Blair Upper Cervical adjusting procedure, the primary focus of NeuroStructural care is on restoring alignment and mechanics of the upper cervical spine while relieving central nervous system irritation and imbalance, all without twisting, popping, or cracking the neck or back. This is an important feature for patients suffering with the discomfort of vertigo in Ménière’s Disease.
Request a consultation with Colorado Springs chiropractor Dr. John Stenberg to determine if an Atlas Displacement Complex is contributing to the progression of your Ménière’s Disease symptoms. If it is determined that NeuroStructural Chiropractic is a potential solution for you, an individualized plan of correction will be developed to help you feel and function at your best.