By Dr. John Conde Special to The Pineapple “Dizziness” is a vague term used by patients to describe the perception of many different abnormal sensations. These abnormal sensations include the perception that the room or self is spinning, an imbalance or lack of coordination when walking (disequilibrium), or simply lightheadedness or the sensation of almost fainting (presyncope). True vertigo falls into this broad category of “dizziness” and is essentially the sensation of spinning with associated nausea. What kind of vertigo/dizziness do I have? Vertigo can be broken down into two major groups; central and peripheral. Central vertigo means that the origin is somewhere in the brain, either from a pathological (ex; tumor) or physiological (poor functioning nerve cells) lesion. Peripheral vertigo implies that the origin is somewhere in the organs of the inner ear. Examples of peripheral vertigo include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, and migraine-associated vertigo. BPPV is by far the most common occurring at a rate of 64 per 100,000 people. The causative agents are canaliths (canal rocks) that form in the fluid filled canals of the inner ear and result in a mismatch of sensory information producing the spinning sensation. Physiological causes are also becoming more prevalent in society and are thought to be promoted by poor functioning nerve cells in the brainstem and in a certain part of the brain called the cerebellum responsible for balance and coordination. Lastly, cervicogenic vertigo is an exception as it is neither central nor peripheral and is thought to arise due to neck trauma, muscle spasm, and restricted neck motion. What can I do at home to reduce the symptoms of an acute bout of vertigo/dizziness? Avoid the head positions that trigger the positional vertigo, ensure that your head is in a propped up position if lying on your back, and lastly pick a stationary object in your room and fixate your eyes on it until the symptoms abide. What cutting edge treatment protocols can help my sensation of dizziness? Conservative treatment of vertiginous symptoms secondary to BPPV include Epley’s maneuver, Semont’s maneuver, and general habituation exercises. The focus of these treatments is to reposition the canaliths (canal rocks) in the canals of the inner ear to non-offending positions. Treatment for physiologically induced vertigo aims at locating the aberrant or poor functioning nerve cells and applying a graded stimulus such as caloric irrigation (applying hot or cold water in the ear) rotatory activation (spins), balancing exercises, canal positioning techniques, oculomotor exercises (eye exercises), hemi-field visual stimulation, oxygen acquiring techniques and one-sided chiropractic adjustments to improve the function of these cells. Dr. John Conde is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist. He has achieved Diplomate status through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. John Conde is the owner of The Conde Center For Chiropractic Neurology, which integrates traditional chiropractic medicine with advanced neurological rehabilitation protocols. The conditions treated range from orthopedic injuries such as lumbar disc herniations and shoulder rotator cuff tendinitis to neurological lesions such as stroke and brain injuries. The office can be reached at 561- 330-6096 and at thecondecenter.com.