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Chronic Vertigo-particularly when turning head

Hello to everyone! I am in my mid-50s and have been suffering from Chronic Vertigo since 1987 - that's 22 years! I came on suddenly and has never left. I have had it to some degree constantly. Sometimes it is barely noticeable (I guess I have gotten used to it at a low level) but then in flares up and I have a great deal of difficulty staying balanced. It has flared up again and now I have had to take several days off from work due to not being able to drive safely to work let alone working. I have been to ENTs, neurologists, dentists (for TMJ), acupuncture, cranio-sacral; have had ENG (dizzy tests - twice) with no specific diagnosis - only they they detect an abnormality but cannot determine where it is coming from (neither peripheral or central). They love to prescrib drugs but drugs do nto solve the problem - they only mask it. But for me, no particular drug has been helpful. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what other avenue might be available? I read something about atherosclerosis cerebri as a possible cause. I believe that my problem is coming from something around the neck area such as the muscles or the verterbra at the top but I cannot get a handle on it. Chiropractic works for a little bit but then it comes back again. It never goes away. Sometimes I get to the point that I tell myself that life is not worth living like this because I cannot find a cure or even what the problem is. Not talking about doing away with myself but just wanting to fold up and not do anything. I need to work (as we all do) but if I won the lottery, I could spend my money looking for a doctor who could fix me!!!!  So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and thanks for anyone who takes the time to read this.
2 Responses
351246 tn?1379682132
Thanks for writing to the forum!
There is a chance that you have compression of the spinal nerves in the cervical spine region. This can happen due to overuse of computers, work involving straining of neck, canal stenosis, bone disease, spondylosis, poor posture etc. A number of times vertigo persists due to this. Please consult an orthopedic specialist or a neurologist. A MRI of the cervical region may throw some light. WEven if the MRI is negative, I would suggest you see a chiropractor for head and neck exercises. See if wearing a cervical collar reduces your vertigo.

I am now going to enumerate the various causes of vertigo. Please go through it to see if all the conditions mentioned have been looked into in your case.
“Vertigo can be caused by disorders of body parts that are involved in maintaining balance:
• Inner ear
• Brain stem and cerebellum
• Nerve tracts connecting the brain stem and cerebellum or within the brain stem
Inner Ear Disorders: Most commonly, vertigo results from motion sickness. Motion sickness may develop in people whose inner ear is sensitive to particular motions, such as swaying or sudden stopping and starting.
Another common cause of vertigo is an abnormal collection of calcium particles in one semicircular canal of the inner ear. The resulting disorder, called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, is especially common among older people. It occurs when the head is moved in certain ways.
Meniere's disease produces attacks of vertigo. The cause of Meniere's disease is thought to involve excess fluid in the inner ear (hydrops). What triggers this is unknown, but it may result from an autoimmune reaction, an allergy, an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system, a blockage to certain structures in the ear, or a viral infection.
Disorders of the vestibulocochlear nerve can cause vertigo, a hearing disorder, or both.
Other disorders that may cause vertigo by affecting the inner ear or its nerve connections include the following:
• Bacterial or viral infections, such as vestibular neuritis, herpes zoster, and mastoiditis
• Paget's disease
• Tumors, such as an auditory nerve tumor
• Inflammation of nerves
The inner ear may also be damaged by drugs, such as aminoglycoside antibiotics, aspirin
, the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, the sedative Phenobarbital, the anticonvulsant phenytoin, the antipsychotic chlorpromazine and certain diuretics including furosemide Excessive use of alcohol can cause temporary vertigo.
Disorders That Affect the Brain: A decrease in the blood supply through arteries to the brain stem, cerebellum, and back of the brain can cause vertigo. This decrease is called vertebrobasilar insufficiency because the arteries affected include the vertebral and basilar arteries. If the decreased blood supply causes temporary symptoms, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is diagnosed. If permanent damage results, a stroke is diagnosed.
Less common disorders that cause vertigo by affecting the brain stem or cerebellum include multiple sclerosis, fractures at the base of the skull, head injuries, seizures, infections, and tumors growing in or near the base of the brain. Vertigo can sometimes be part of a migraine attack and occasionally occur without the headache.
Occasionally, vertigo is caused by disorders that suddenly increase pressure within the skull, putting pressure on the brain. These disorders include benign intracranial hypertension, brain tumors, and bleeding (hemorrhage) within the skull.” Refer: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec06/ch080/ch080c.html
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Avatar universal
Thanks you SO much for your response! I am in the process of working toward the orthopedic solution but it will take some time to setup. I know that over the years with many x-rays taken of my neck area that I have been told that I have bone spurs and arthritis in the cervical area and I would assume that is not helping things. And I have also been told that my head forward posture is definitely aggravating my condition. However, I work with computers for a living and so I have been trying to adapt but I think the damage is done. I have been told that the ligaments are stretched to the point that my neck won't stabilize and so the chiropractic adjustments don't hold. My neck hurts quite a bit and I can only sleep in one position and even then I can't get more than 5 hours which of course does not allow the muscles to repair and so I am in one of those cycles that I cannot reverse.

I have tried the neck exercises you mention but these only make it worse. Wearing a cervical collar keeps my neck stable but is not practical and when I remove it it just comes back. But the spinal compression makes sense. Right now my neck muscles (that run down the back of the neck) are so tight that when I turn, it hurts and causes the vertigo.  So, it may be a combination of my unique anatomy in the cervical area and the damaged ligaments and overworked muscles that I need to address. I am hoping to find the answer someday and with assistance from concerned people such as yourself, I will eventually get to a state of balance again!!

Thanks again and I will definitely keep you informed as to how this all goes.

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