peripheral-vertigo-and-the-neck-whats-their-linkSan Diego, CA chiropractors, including us, help patients with vertigo, so we know how debilitating the false sensation of spinning that comes with it can be. Peripheral vertigo is the most common category of vertigo. This type implies that an inner ear issue is the underlying cause of vertigo. 

Let’s have a more in-depth look at the primary conditions under the category of peripheral vertigo. Then we will discuss a natural therapy that resolves vertigo by examining a link between the ears and the neck.  

Peripheral Vertigo Conditions

The following conditions are just some of the underlying causes of peripheral vertigo. Besides issues in the inner ear, most of them have something to do with the neck. 

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV is the medical abbreviation for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or positional vertigo. This is the most prevalent diagnosis for vertigo patients and the reason why peripheral vertigo is the most common form of vertigo. However, only 50% of people with BPPV know what’s behind positional vertigo. Other cases are labeled as idiopathic, meaning the actual underlying cause is unidentified. One possible reason is upper cervical misalignments. This is because the topmost bone in the neck (the atlas vertebra) is near the ears and can impact the function of the ears. 


This is another condition under the category of peripheral vertigo. This disorder is due to inflammation in the labyrinth, or inner ear. Swelling of the labyrinth happens because of a virus such as a flu bug or cold. This is common if the ears have drainage issues. Correcting a cervical problem that restricts the proper draining of the ears would help. 

Vestibular Neuronitis

Labyrinthitis and this condition have their similarities, but they are not the same thing. Like labyrinthitis, its cause is often a cold or flu virus. However, vestibular neuronitis, inflammation occurs in the vestibular nerve. Since the vestibular, or eighth cranial nerve, transmits signals to the brain about balance and position, this is often confused as a form of central vertigo (vertigo due to a problem in the central nervous system). However, because the vestibular nerve is linked to the ear, it remains a condition related to peripheral vertigo. 

Meniere’s Disease

It is quite a rare condition as only 0.2% of the population has it. Besides vertigo, Meniere’s brings other distinct symptoms such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear. Oftentimes, it affects only one side of the ear. The reason this disorder is peripheral in nature is that medical professionals think it is a result of too much fluid in the ear (endolymphatic hydrops). While this often occurs, the culprit behind the fluid issue needs resolution. In many cases, researchers found that correcting an upper cervical misalignment resulted in the proper drainage of the ear and a significant reduction in severity and frequency of vertigo and other symptoms. 

The Relation Between Vertigo and the Neck

Certainly, there is a connection between these peripheral causes of vertigo and the neck. The more important question is, why is that so?

The atlas (uppermost bone in the neck) is very close to the ears. Since the atlas maintains the balance of the entire head, other structures of the body move to compensate for even the smallest misalignment. As a result, this affects the eustachian tubes, which are tiny tubes that facilitate draining of excess fluid of the ears. If there is a misalignment in the neck vertebrae for several years, it can lead to long-term health concerns such as vertigo. This is the reason why it is vital to have a check-up for your neck alignment if you experience vertigo.

A Natural Fix for Peripheral Vertigo

Are you experiencing peripheral vertigo or one of the conditions we listed above? The link between the ears and the neck should come as good news as it helps you better understand vertigo. We hope it helps you make a sound decision when looking for natural relief. Upper cervical chiropractic is one option we encourage you to consider as it offers a safe and gentle way to correct atlas misalignments. Here’s how it works. 

Upper cervical chiropractors, like us here at Family First Chiropractic & Wellness Center in San Diego, CA, measure precise misalignments using modern diagnostic imaging methods. These measurements are what customized adjustments are based on. The adjustments done for each patient are gentle, without popping or cracking of the spine. That makes upper cervical chiropractic gentle enough for people of all ages. 

If you have vertigo episodes regularly, especially if you have had head or neck trauma in the past, upper cervical chiropractic care may be the natural therapy for you. If you’re looking for San Diego, CA chiropractors, a no-obligation consultation with us may be the first step on your path to better overall health and well-being. Contact us today to take control of your health.