Undizzy Me



Frequently Asked Questions About Dizziness and Vertigo


What is Dizziness?
The word dizziness is used to mean various sensations of body disorientation and position that are often difficult for patients to describe. Several categories of dizziness have been defined:

Vertigo:  spinning sensation
Presyncope: feeling of lightheadedness/impending faint.
Disequilibrium: a sense of imbalance (postural instability) without a sensation in the head.
Other dizziness: vague or floating, swimming, woozy, difficult to describe.

What Kinds of Dizziness Does Craniosacral Help?
Craniosacral therapy can help with just about any kind of dizziness. However, it is most effective for vertigo—dizziness accompanied by a sensation of spinning, which is genrally caused by a restrction in the temporal bones. Once a critical structural imbalance has been created, any number of stressors [such as venous pressure changes, muscle tension, organic dysfunction, menstruation, allergies or emotional disturbance] may trigger acute symptoms.


When should I see a craniosacral therapist for my dizziness?
Although many types of dizziness and vertigo can be disabling,  they are usually not life threatening. Nevertheless, anyone experiencing severe vertigo or dizziness should first consult a physician to rule out potentially serious causes including medication-related, seizure, stroke, transient ischemic attacks, vertebral-basilar insufficiency, hypertension, pericarditis, arrhythmias, carbon monoxide poisoning and other serious conditions that may need immediate medical attention.

The prospect of serious conditions of course makes sudden dizziness very frightening, but scientific literature has shown that 70% of dizziness is caused by vestibular (inner ear) or psychiatric problems. It also appears that many cases of dizziness are attributed incorrectly to psychiatric problems simply because the medical system has failed to find any specific cause. Some of these, at least, may be due to an unrecognized craniosacral problem. Moreover, the scientific literature affirms what many vertigo suffers already know: chronic cases of dizziness are not often helped by medical treatment. And many workers who leave their jobs because of dizziness never return to work.

If you have chronic dizziness or vertigo and medicine is not completely relieving your symptoms, or the medicine helps but the dizziness returns at another time, you are a good candidate for craniosacral therapy.

Does Craniosacral therapy help with positional vertigo?

Craniosacral therapy is excellent for people who have spinning vertigo lasting minutes or hours. It may also be help with positional vertigo that last a few seconds and then calms down when you change position, turn your head a certain way or look up to a high shelf.

There are different types of positional vertigo. Craniosacral therapy will not help with Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) described below. However, not all cases of positional vertigo are caused by BPPV in the inner ear. Also, BPPV is sometimes misdiagnosed when the person actually has a craniosacral problem. If you have chronic positional vertigo and have not received any relief from medication in several months it may a good idea to get a craniosacral evaluation.

Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo  BPPV
A common form of positional vertigo is  Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo. That is fancy name to say that the dizziness is precipitated by putting the head in a specific position. Avoiding the position reduces the occurrence of dizziness, but it also takes longer for the condition to be resolved. BPPV is caused by debris or calcium carbonate crystals that that have fallen into the wrong part of the ear and cause dizziness as the debis change position in the semi-circular canals. BPPV can cause a sensation of the room spinning or the head spinning, but this feeling is momentary as the debris settle into a new position.

BPPV is non-life threatening (benign) but can be highly debilitating. Symptoms usually go away by themselves in a few weeks or months as the debris are finally dislodged and eliminated from the system under normal physiological processes.

BPPV is helped by a positioning technique call the Epley maneuver or similar techniques in which the patient is placed on a table and rapidly rolled into different positions with the head hanging so as to induce dizziness and literally shake the debris out of the inner membranes where they are stuck. The problem is, of course, is that the procedure is very uncomfortable because it induces dizziness several times in fifteen minutes and may not be complete in one sensation. Most BPPV patient opt for medication, which often does not do much to  relieve the symptoms.

Craniosacral therapy will not help with true BPPV. Likewise, the Epley maneuver will not work if the positional vertigo is caused by a craniosacral problem. Any chronic dizziness problem with an unknown or unclear diagnosis should be evaluated by a craniosacral therapist.