We have treated many whiplash injury cases in Portland since 1980, and dizziness is a common problem that patients experience after an car accident. We find that there are a few different causes of vertigo after a crash.
The most common cause of dizziness is simply because of neck damage - or what's called cervicogenic dizziness. Your spine contains countless of nerves referred to as proprioceptors, and these nerve fibers tell your brain the location of your body. Proprioceptors are how you can control your body in the dark or with your eyes closed, and are an important part of how your body maintains balance.
When your neck is damaged, the proprioceptors can be disrupted, and this important information is no longer supplied to the postural control system of your brain, resulting in vertigo.
Cervicogenic dizziness usually resolves itself with specific treatment of the damaged neck structures.
Yet another kind of vertigo is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. BPPV can be brought about by violent movement of your head, as you could very well endure during a car crash. Your inner ear contains tiny calcium crystals called otoliths. As you move your head, these crystals move against nerve endings in your inner ear, telling your brain about the position of your head. During a violent movement of your head, these otoliths can literally be jarred from their normal location to other areas of your inner ear. There, they send impulses to your brain that don't make sense, resulting in confusion in your postural control system, and dizziness.
People with BPPV commonly report dizziness that occurs when they move their head and neck in certain ways. Treatment of BPPV is accomplished with a simple procedure called the Epley Maneuver, which positions your head to move the otoliths back to their normal position.
The third possible cause of vertigo after an auto injury is vascular injury. On occasion, the arteries of the neck are damaged, causing restricted blood flow to the brain. This type of injury is often felt as a pain in the back of the head that becomes stronger over time, and it can be on either side of the head or in the middle. Sometimes the pain is felt as dull, and other times it might feel like a rise in pressure or a throbbing sensation.
This is an extremely serious type of injury and it's important to seek medical attention right away if you have these symptoms.
The fourth potential kind of vertigo is brain injury. If your head hit something at the time of the crash or if the wreck was very bad, you can suffer a mild traumatic brain injury. If you suffered a brain injury, you might suffer with fuzzy thinking, confusion, dizziness, or memory loss after the crash. It's important that you seek medical attention if you currently have these symptoms.
Chiropractic adjustments are a proven, reliable way to help people with vertigo, and we've been working with these types of injuries in Portland (Woodstock, Sellwood) since 1980.
If you have been in a car crash and have symptoms of back pain, Dr. Helton is here to help. We can help establish the underlying cause of your pain and formulate a plan of action to help you reclaim your health. We have helped many people in Portland (Woodstock, Sellwood) heal from these sorts of injuries.
Call our office today at (503) 771-1974 for a consultation or for more advice.