Balance is an important function of the musculoskeletal system as well as the neurologic system. A good balance helps people to perform various activities while maintaining a good body position. Balance is a multifactorial phenomenon, wherein the brain sends signals to the peripheral areas of the body to maintain a well balanced position. The center for balance or equilibrium is located in the cerebellum in the brain. Along with the cerebellum, the labyrinth in the inner ear contains fluid that helps people determine stable and unstable positions.
Because of the role of the neurologic system in the establishment of balance, older people usually complain about problems in maintaining stability. About 9% of individuals, age 65 and above, experience instability in some points in their lives. Because of this sense of unsteadiness in older adults, they are frequently unable to perform various activities that require balance. They also tend to become dependent to their caregivers in order to ambulate efficiently.
The presence of a feeling that the environment rotates or moves around is termed as vertigo. This condition may be affected by various conditions that concern the cerebellum and the inner ears. Aside from vertigo, people who lose their balance also complain of dizziness and nausea.
Conditions that may affect the sense of balance include labyrinthitis, paroxysmal positional vertigo and Meniere’s disease. Paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common of the three conditions. This condition involves the presence of vertigo when you change positions in the bed, get out of the bed, and change your head positions and others. The changes in position of the head seem to affect the fluid in the inner ear causing vertigo. Labyrinthitis on the other hand, is the presence of inflammation or infection in the inner ear. Meniere’s disease is a condition also affecting the inner ear that result in vertigo, tinnitus or ringing in the ears and loss of hearing. These conditions are usually experienced by older individuals, but younger people can also be affected.
A chiropractor like Dr. Mohr, your Tampa chiropractor, is able to help clients experiencing balance problems and also helps normal individuals prevent problems in stability. Chiropractors help analyze the balance problems and institute measures to correct them. Chiropractors may perform simple vestibular exercises to rehabilitate the vestibule in the inner ear and improve the flow of the vestibular fluid, hence improving sense of stability.
Chiropractors also perform Epley procedure or maneuver. It is a technique used by chiropractors to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It is a series of steps that gradually changes the position of the head to improve the flow of fluid in the inner ears and also helps clients assume different positions without experiencing vertigo. Following Epley maneuver, the patient wears a soft collar on the neck to prevent any head positions that can affect again the balance. Epley maneuver is also called canalith repositioning maneuver.
Aside from these, chiropractic care may also be used to correct spinal problems that can affect the signaling of the cranial nerves responsible for the functioning of the inner ear. Since some of the balance problems are related to certain types of trauma to the head and the spine, chiropractors involve techniques to remove subluxations in the spine to improve brain or cerebellar signaling to the rest of the body in order to achieve balance. The muscles and the bones are also responsible for maintaining balance in response to nerve impulses from the brain.
Chiropractic care is an effective, non-invasive approach in helping patients with balance problems. If you’re looking for a chiropractor in Tampa, FL, Wesley Chapel, Tampa Palms, or the surrounding areas, give us a call to set up a consultation. It is best to consult a chiropractor when you experience dizziness or vertigo in frequent intervals.