Post-Accident Dizziness and Vertigo

Some patients report dizziness or vertigo after an auto collision. There are four major causes of this problem after a crash.

The most prevalent cause of vertigo is simply because of neck trauma - or what's called cervicogenic vertigo. Your spinal column contains thousands of nerves known as proprioceptors, and these nerve fibers tell your brain the location of your body. Proprioceptors are how you can control your body in the dark or with your eyes closed, and are an important part of how your body maintains balance.

If your neck is sprained, the proprioceptors can be disrupted, and this crucial information is no longer supplied to the postural control system of your brain, resulting in dizziness.

Cervicogenic dizziness usually resolves itself with specific treatment of the damaged neck structures.

Another kind of dizziness is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. BPPV can be caused by violent movement of your head, as you might suffer during a car crash. Your inner ear contains tiny calcium crystals called otoliths. As you move your head, these crystals move against nerve endings in your inner ear, telling your brain about the position of your head. During a violent movement of your head, these otoliths can actually be jarred from their usual location to other areas of your inner ear. There, they send impulses to your brain that don't make sense, which causes confusion in your postural control system, and dizziness.

People with BPPV commonly report dizziness that appears when they move their head and neck in certain ways. Treatment of BPPV is done with a simple procedure called the Epley Maneuver, which positions your head to move the otoliths back to their normal position.

The third possible cause of dizziness after an auto collision is vascular injury. On occasion, the blood vessels of the neck are damaged, causing restricted blood flow to the brain. This type of injury is often felt as a pain in the back of the head that grows stronger over time, and it can be either on the side of the head or in the center. Sometimes the pain feels dull, and other times it might feel like a rise in pressure or a throbbing sensation.

This is an extremely serious type of injury and it's important to seek medical attention immediately if you have these signs or symptoms.

The fourth potential kind of dizziness is brain injury. If your head hit something at the time of the accident or if the impact was very bad, you can suffer a mild traumatic brain injury. If you suffered a brain injury, you might suffer with fuzzy thinking, confusion, dizziness, or memory loss after the collision. It's critical that you seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

Chiropractic adjustments are a tried and tested, effective way to help men and women with dizziness, and we've been helping these types of injuries in Sacramento, CA since 1990.

If you've been in a car crash and have symptoms of back pain, Dr. Armstrong is here to help. We can help pinpoint the underlying source of your pain and formulate a plan of action to help you restore your health. We have helped many patients in Sacramento, CA heal from these types of injuries.

Call our office today at (916) 483-8441 for an appointment or for more advice.