When it comes to vertigo, one of the biggest questions that come up is “What can I do to make this go away?”  For people living with this condition day-to-day, it can cause a lot of anxiety not knowing when the next episode might occur.  Symptoms of vertigo are often triggered by a change in head position.  People in the midst of a vertigo attack might feel as if they are swaying, spinning, tilting, and unbalanced.  Additionally, nausea, vomiting, headache, and hearing changes may also be experienced.

Understanding the Upper Cervical Spine

There are seven vertebrae that make up the cervical spine in the neck.  At the very top of the neck sits a uniquely shaped bone called the atlas.  The atlas (C1), combined with the skull above and the axis (C2) vertebra below gives us the freedom to move the head in all directions.

Your atlas provides a ring of protection that surrounds the brainstem, which is part of the system that relays information to the brain about how your body is positioned.  An interference of these signals can confuse the brain, which can lead to the sensation that the world is spinning around you or that you yourself are spinning.  

Looking at the Research

More and more evidence is starting to show that there is a connection between the position of your atlas and the onset of spinning.  In one particular study, 60 cases of chronic vertigo were assessed.  The participants had experienced vertigo symptoms for between 1 and 37 years.  There were a few commonalities found that point towards upper cervical chiropractic care being a successful, natural approach toward finding relief:

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  • 56 of the 60 vertigo patients recalled some type of head or neck injury
  • All 60 vertigo patients were found to have atlas misalignments
  • 100% of cases either improved or were completely symptom-free following a period of upper cervical chiropractic care

If you have been suffering from vertigo, then the next logical step would be to have your atlas alignment assessed by an upper cervical chiropractor.  Contact us at Upper Cervical of Sioux Falls for a complimentary consultation to see if we can help you get to feeling better.




Elster E, Sixty Patients With Chronic Vertigo Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxation: A Retrospective Analysis. J Vert Sublux Res 2006; Nov 8:1-9.


To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Casey Weerheim call our Sioux Falls office at 605-250-2024. You can also click the button below. vertigo-consult If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.