Meniere's disease can have many different levels of severity and combinations of symptoms. Some patients have such severe attacks that they end up in the hospital. These cases can have non-stop vomiting, constant vertigo, diarrhea, and severe tinnitus. These cases only remit after a cocktail of drugs in the hospital.
Other cases can have Meniere's symptoms but no dizziness associated, termed Hydrops. What we have found is the clogged ear and vertigo symptoms are the easiest to clear. Tinnitus is the most difficult to remedy. In this blog, we will briefly describe the underlying mechanisms that may be at play that cause Meniere's Disease. Then we will discuss how Upper Cervical Care has been helping Meniere's Disease sufferers throughout the country.
Myo-dural Bridge and Meniere's Disease
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Landmark anatomical research about a decade ago found a muscle in the upper neck called the rectus capitis oblique minor muscle. This muscle has an attachment to the sheath that covers the spinal cord. (1) This anatomical connection was first implicated in the development of tension headaches(2). However, its connection to overall body health may be largely misunderstood and researched.
When someone sustains a neck injury the muscles at the base of the skull tighten. When tight, this muscle mechanically pulls on the sheath covering the brain stem. Because the brainstem is the seat of control for most body functions its effects on human health can be far-reaching. It is well-known that Meniere's Disease is a disease of the spasm of the muscles in the Eustachian tube, and the function of the inner ear apparatus. This entire area is neurologically associated with the brain-stem nerve centers. Interference at this level can affect all the anatomical areas that are implicated in the development of Meniere's Disease. Differentiation Theory - Abnormal Input From The Joints Of The Upper Neck And How They Influence The Central Nervous System
The joints in the upper cervical spine are special. Their surfaces contain millions of nerve receptors. They send information to the central nervous system telling the back part of your brain where you are in 3-d space. This is one of the ways your body maintains balance. The atlas c-1 and axis c-2 have the largest numbers of these nerves compared to any other joint in the human body. When someone has a neck injury, the damage to the tissues that give support to normal joint motion becomes damaged.
When abnormal joint motion occurs these nerve endings send abnormal input into the central nervous system and can have wide-ranging effects on human health. Dr. Dan Murphy out of northern California does a brilliant job of explaining how these neuropathways can affect the Eustachian tube and be a causative pathway for the development of Meniere's Disease. (3)
What exactly does this mean? When the upper neck is injured it can be a primary cause of Meniere's Disease. Dr. Michael Burcon out of Grand Rapids Michigan has shown that Meniere's Disease patients recover after receiving upper cervical Blair chiropractic care in a large percentage of cases. (4) These two ideas may be some of the underlying reasons why correcting upper neck misalignments helps Meniere's Cases.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Helps Meniere's-Meniere's Disease
As we have discussed, a misaligned upper cervical spine can influence the central nervous system causing irritation to the brainstem. The goal of upper cervical care is to correct brain-stem interference. Upper cervical doctors run objective testing to locate the cause. Then precise x-rays are taken to determine the direction of joint misalignment and its angulation.
Once this information is gleaned the patient receives a precise gentle correction. There is no twisting, popping, or pulling. After the correction is made the patient is monitored over time to ensure healing is taking place. The goal is for the vertebra to stay in its normal position for as long as possible.