Illustration of a person with vertigo, experiencing dizziness and imbalance, seeking relief through chiropractic treatment.
July 28, 2023

Understanding Vertigo: Unlocking the Key Mechanisms and Treatment Options

Ozark Holistic Center


Vertigo is a disorienting and often distressing condition that affects many individuals worldwide. It can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, leading to feelings of dizziness, spinning sensations, and a loss of balance. While vertigo can arise from various causes, three primary mechanisms stand out: inner ear dysfunction, visual impairment, and proprioceptive deficiencies. In this article, we delve into these mechanisms and explore how chiropractic interventions, including muscle testing and proprioceptive correction, can offer relief and restore equilibrium.

The Inner Ear: A Delicate Balance System

The inner ear plays a crucial role in maintaining our body’s balance. When there is an imbalance or dysfunction within the vestibular system, it can result in vertigo. Disorders such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, and vestibular neuritis commonly arise from inner ear disturbances. These conditions can trigger intense spinning sensations and associated symptoms. Chiropractic care can help identify and address these issues, offering much-needed relief.

The Role of Vision in Vertigo

Surprisingly, visual impairments can also contribute to the development of vertigo. The connection between the eyes and the vestibular system is essential for maintaining balance. When the visual input contradicts the signals received from the inner ear, it can lead to vertigo and dizziness. Conditions like convergence insufficiency, where the eyes struggle to coordinate properly, can cause these conflicts. Comprehensive chiropractic assessments can identify visual deficits and provide appropriate referrals for further evaluation and treatment.

Proprioception: The Body’s Spatial Awareness

Proprioception is a fascinating sensory mechanism that allows us to perceive the position and movement of our body in space, even with our eyes closed. It involves sensory information originating from muscles, joints, and connective tissues, which is relayed back to the brain. Proprioceptive deficiencies can disrupt this feedback loop, leading to vertigo and an impaired sense of balance. Chiropractors employ muscle testing techniques to assess proprioceptive function and determine the appropriate course of action.

Chiropractic Interventions for Vertigo:

Dr. Orie Quinn, a chiropractor with extensive experience in treating vertigo, highlights a comprehensive approach to address the underlying causes. Through a series of muscle tests, fascia corrections, muscle activation, cranial work, and breathing-assisted adjustments, chiropractors aim to restore proper function and alleviate vertigo symptoms.

Muscle Testing: This technique involves evaluating the strength and integrity of specific muscles to identify potential imbalances or weaknesses. By assessing the body’s response to different muscle tests, chiropractors gain valuable insights into proprioceptive deficiencies and formulate personalized treatment plans.

Fascia Correcting: Fascia, a connective tissue network that envelops muscles and organs, can become tense or restricted, affecting proprioception and overall body alignment. Chiropractic techniques, such as myofascial release and soft tissue manipulation, can help release tension and improve fascial mobility.

Muscle Activation: By targeting specific muscles and activating them through controlled movements or exercises, chiropractors aim to enhance proprioceptive feedback. This process helps retrain the body’s spatial awareness and restore balance.

Cranial Work: The cranial system, including the bones, membranes, and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain, influences proprioceptive function. Gentle adjustments and techniques focusing on the cranial system can have a positive impact on vertigo symptoms.

Breathing-Assisted Adjustments: Controlled breathing techniques can aid in relaxation, relieve tension, and support the body’s overall balance. Chiropractors often incorporate breathwork during adjustments to enhance treatment outcomes.


Vertigo can arise from various mechanisms, including inner ear dysfunction, visual impairments, and proprioceptive deficiencies. Understanding these underlying causes is crucial for effective treatment and relief. Chiropractic care, through its holistic approach, including muscle testing, fascia correcting, muscle activation, cranial work, and breathing-assisted adjustments, offers a promising avenue for managing vertigo symptoms. If you or someone you know experiences vertigo, consider consulting a qualified chiropractor who can assess your condition and provide personalized treatment to restore your sense of balance and well-being.

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