Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the vestibular system, specifically the inner ear. It is a form of endolymphatic hydrops with symptoms occurring due to abnormally huge amounts of fluid present in a person’s inner ear. Unlike other vertigo-causing conditions, Meniere’s disease is quite rare. Only 615,000 Americans have Meniere’s disease, but at least 45,000 new cases are added each year.
Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease
Here are the symptoms associated with this condition:
- Vertigo – a false feeling that you or the things around you are rotating or spinning
- Congestion or a sensation of fullness in the affected ear
- Irregular hearing loss that can become permanent
- Tinnitus – buzzing or ringing noises in the ear
Meniere’s disease can happen to anybody. Adults aging between 40 to 60 years old are common patients. In case you wonder about the etymology of the word, the disease was named after the French physician Prosper Meniere who found out that the condition originates from the inner ear instead of the brain (the accepted belief during his time). As Dr. Meniere’s idea gained more popularity, the disorder became Meniere’s disease.
Causes of Meniere’s Disease: The Theories
Until this day, researchers are puzzled about the exact cause of Meniere’s disease. However, there are many theories on its existence. Many doctors believe it comes about due to any of these:
- Viral infections
- Circulation problems
- Autoimmune reactions
The most popular and accepted theory is that the disease may stem from increased pressure within the inner ear due to the abnormally huge fluid levels in the ear. Also, there are specific triggers that cause an episode in some individuals. These are the following triggers or risk factors:
- Other illnesses
- Emotional distress
- Certain foods
- Pressure changes
- Too much salt
Upper Cervical Misalignment: One Possible Cause
A case study explored and analyzed the connection between the brain, blood flow, and Meniere’s disease. It turns out, the condition may have a close link to upper neck misalignments.
The vertebrae (C1 and C2) within the neck play an essential role in facilitating the proper blood flow to the brain. The components or vessels in this specific area are called the vertebral arteries. They start from the subclavian arteries. Each vessel positions on each side of the neck and unites within the skull to create a single midline basilar artery. The vertebral arteries are responsible for supplying blood to the upper spinal cord, the cerebellum, the brainstem, and the brain’s posterior region.
If the C1 (atlas) or C2 (axis) vertebra shifts out of place, these arteries and vessels will not perform at their best. They may even malfunction. Vertebral misalignment in the upper cervical spine can be a possible cause for Meniere’s disease symptoms. The misaligned vertebrae may block the flow of blood that enters and leaves the brain. Additionally, the brainstem may endure pressure no thanks to these misaligned bones, and start sending improper signals to your brain. So, any of these circumstances may result in Meniere’s disease to ensue.
What Can Cause Upper Cervical Misalignment?
Some factors can affect these vertebrae’s alignment from something as simple as a trip and fall to an incident as severe as getting hit from behind while riding in a vehicle. Whiplash, concussions, and sports accidents can also make these bones move out of their regular positions, causing a misalignment. When any of these events occur, significant problems can follow, such as Meniere’s disease and other health problems.
Meniere’s Disease and Another Discovery
Dr. Michael Burcon is an upper cervical chiropractor who made a significant discovery concerning Meniere’s disease. As he worked on his patients, he discovered that they quickly recovered from vertigo and Meniere’s disease. He established a link between both Meniere’s disease and trigeminal neuralgia with patients who suffered from whiplash, misaligning the top bone of the neck and the skull’s base. It created a lesion on the trigeminal ganglion and the Eustachian tube. Examples of incidents that can cause this kind of damage and problem would include vehicular accidents and head trauma.
So, why has this connection not discovered before? Dr. Burcon’s experience is that it takes on average of 15 years from the time of the trauma until the onset of the Meniere’s disease symptoms would begin. It explains why numerous patients tend to forget or fail to mention their previous traumatic experiences to their doctors.
Can Chiropractors Help Meniere’s Disease?
Yes, they can (specifically, NUCCA chiropractors)! Based on the above information, we cannot stress enough the real value of having a properly aligned neck. NUCCA chiropractors can detect and correct the slightest of misalignments in the neck, which can be wreaking havoc on your body and overall well-being.
The entire structure of the neck becomes compromised when you have a misalignment in the upper neck. So, we start by analyzing the overall health of your spine. Furthermore, we examine the neck for any indicators that you may have misaligned vertebrae. As soon as we locate the source of the problem, we use a highly gentle and exact method that encourages the neck’s bones to move back into their proper positions. Our patients and those in case studies can testify that this type of system can improve the symptoms of Meniere’s disease.
Find a NUCCA doctor in your area. NUCCA doctors employ an exact and very gentle technique to restore normal atlas alignment.