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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Experience Lasting Relief from Vertigo

attributable to "BearFotos".

by Eric Winder, D.C.  

If you’ve never experienced extreme dizziness or vertigo, it can be hard to understand just how debilitating this issue can be. Many of my patients with this problem confirm how draining it is to feel disoriented in space — many would even rather deal with back or neck pain instead. With vertigo, daily tasks can become difficult, especially actions like driving or anything that involves head movement and being on your feet.   

Vertigo is a specific kind of dizziness where a person feels like they (or the world around them) is in constant motion. Triggers include certain medications, inflammation of nerves in the inner ear, viral infections or abnormal fluid pressure in the inner ear.  The most diagnosed type of vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo—or BPPV—which is thought to be caused by displaced particles in the canals of the inner ear. Those with BPPV are often taught to do a version of the “Epley Maneuver,” which is a pattern of head and body motions that attempt to move these particles into a better position.    

Hidden Cause 

While medications and the Epley Maneuver can be extremely helpful, vertigo is often not resolved by these treatments alone. I believe that many patients continue to suffer from vertigo symptoms because an important cause is ignored. At our clinic, we help to improve or resolve vertigo for many patients by looking beyond the inner ear to another source: The nerve endings that give our bodies position sense. 

As an example, a patient I will refer to  as Dorothy came into our office for treatment of lower back and neck pain.  During the intake history and examination on her first visit, she revealed that she had been suffering from dizziness for months. She had been diagnosed with BPPV but could not tolerate the medication that she was prescribed. While the Epley Maneuver helped somewhat, her relief was temporary.   

While we successfully treated her other complaints, we also used therapies focused on releasing restrictions of the connective tissue in her upper neck, jaw and muscles at the base of the skull. This fibrous connective tissue is called fascia, and in Dorothy’s case, it responded to gentle hands-on treatment. She reported a 60 percent improvement in her vertigo after one session, and within a few more visits, her symptoms were gone.    

Position Sense 

The reason that fascia release treatments could relieve Dorothy’s vertigo is due to the most important sense in our bodies—proprioception. This is a medical term for position sense, which is how we know where all our body parts are located in space. The millions of nerve endings that give us position sense are found all throughout our bodies, embedded in the fascia. They provide us with information that makes all coordinated movement possible, along with upright posture, stability and muscular balance. 

In the case of vertigo, restricted fascia of the jaw, upper neck or skull can create a distortion in position sense that causes disorienting sensations of spinning motion and loss of balance. At our office, we release restrictions in fascia, using a non-invasive combination of therapies that involve gentle tissue compression, stretching and pulsed microcurrent.  

Restoring normal flexibility and movement to fascia helps restore normal position sense. Most of our vertigo patients get significant relief with these fascia treatments, even when typical treatment methods have failed. More importantly, this relief tends to last much longer than other forms of therapy. When vertigo symptoms are extreme or lasting, it’s important to be evaluated first by a physician who specializes in this area.   

Also, if vertigo or dizziness occurs with other symptoms such as blurred vision, rapid heart rate or mental confusion, urgent medical evaluation is necessary. Most cases of vertigo do not have serious underlying conditions, and there is a common cause that is often overlooked. Exploring fascia release therapy with a practitioner experienced in treatment of vertigo could be your best bet for achieving permanent relief.  

Eric Winder, D.C., uses gentle manual therapy and rehab techniques to help patients with a wide range of pain and injury problems. Dr. Winder has offices in Sarasota and Osprey. For more information, call 941-957-8390 or visit 

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