We were having an interesting conversation about New-Start Health Center, what all it offers, and also about the world of chiropractic care. He had never been to a chiropractor before, but was very encouraged because he had a friend who went to a chiropractor, and they fixed her dizziness spells. She had tried many different facets in the medical industry to get her vertigo under control, but it was one chiropractic adjustment that changed it all. It was like a miracle. An entire world of vertigo symptoms, vanished after one chiropractic adjustment.
So, the question was asked to me in my office, “can chiropractic fix dizziness spells?”
For the traditional chiropractor, this is an easy question. One that gets their heart pumping and biting at the bit to piggy back on the miraculous story by completely agreeing that, YES, chiropractic can fix vertigo, headaches, thyroid problems, and EVERY other health condition that ails you. They will jump up and down discussing how nerve flow is the creation of life, and that it is impinged and that affects every aspect of life. They might even show you a safety pin example of nerve flow, and try to explain that the vertigo went away because they broke up the interference, allowing the body to heal itself. The root of the problem was a “subluxation” and the adjustment is the only way you can treat these conditions, and the chiropractic profession is the only way to go… Blah Blah Blah…
Sorry, I am not a traditional chiropractor. We practice Evidence-Based Chiropractic at New-Start Health Center, so we have a slightly different answer for you.
Unfortunately, dizziness has many causes. This is a list from a quick search on google.
- sudden drop in blood pressure, as may occur upon standing suddenly
- heart muscle disease
- decrease in blood volume
- neurological conditions
- side effect from medications
- anxiety disorders
- anemia (low iron)
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- ear infection
- heat stroke
- excessive exercise
- motion sickness
As you can probably imagine, a chiropractic adjustment is not going to help dizziness symptoms that are derived from heat stroke or low blood sugar. I am certain that even the most radical traditional chiropractors in the world can agree with that.
Sure, no chiropractor is going to treat a dizziness symptom if they have sweat running down their cheeks, or just got off a roller coaster, but if a patient comes in with a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in dizziness symptoms, will the traditional chiropractor catch it?
The biggest issue is in the exam and treatment of any patient with dizziness symptoms. As the traditional profession tries to stand it’s ground on how chiropractic can work miracles and fix any condition, they lose touch in the true examination of the cause. This typically results in a trial and error effort to adjust the upper neck, hoping that the dizziness goes away, further prolonging the myths of the miracle. If it works, it’s a miracle cure, if it doesn’t, well, oh well, we tried right?
Evidence-based is different. I do understand the power of a chiropractic adjustment, but I also understand the boundaries that it has.
Evidence-based chiropractic means, we treat what we KNOW we can fix.
All symptoms have a root cause, all chiropractors can agree on that, but can we really find the root cause is the difference. A thorough history and examination is designed to exacerbate the primary cause of a symptom, helping to clarify the tissue causing the symptom. Basically, if I can do a test to make your symptom worse, then I can develop a reasonable diagnosis for the cause.
Dizziness is one of those symptoms. If a patient presents with sporadic dizziness, not experiencing dizziness at the time, and I can passively move the neck and produce a dizziness symptom, I might have a diagnosis to treat. If I can not reproduce the symptoms in any way, NO, I can not treat the dizziness cause, and I won’t take a stab in the dark and say it might help.
This same principle carries through to all musculoskeletal pain syndromes as well.
- Low back pain
- neck pain
- shoulder pain etc
Each of these symptoms have a root cause. Evidence-Based Chiropractic is effective at knowing what questions to ask, what exams to perform, and what outcomes to expect. By finding the specific pain generating tissue, muscle, joint, disc, nerve, etc, I can give you a more effective treatment plan.
I mean, if you have a lumbar disc injury causing low back pain (which is actually pretty common), you would not want me taking an xray and then adjusting based on that radiograph. Considering x ray only shows bone tissue for the most part, you can not see a disc injury on x ray, and an adjustment with rotation will make it worse. Tissue based diagnosis will tell the evidence-based chiropractor not to adjust, and a disc protocol is in order for the condition.
The best part is, the results are reproducible.
Even though I am ensuring I won’t be able to produce any “miracle treatments,” I can assure you that what I will try, will work. Maybe that is a miracle in itself?
Evidence is created to have a plausible plan for each treatment protocol. By diagnosing a specific symptom generator, it is permissible to give a prognosis that is actually accurate.
This is a hard concept to get on board with. I can go on and on trying to describe the difference, but the main thing to understand is…
Evidence-Based Chiropractic is the future. We give reproducible results patient after patient. We can get you out of pain faster or get you to someone who can. We treat what we CAN fix, no never do a treatment with a need to “hope” it will work.