Some patients report dizziness or vertigo after a car crash. There are four leading causes of this problem after a collision.
The most frequent cause of vertigo is due to neck damage - or what's called cervicogenic dizziness. Your spinal column contains tens of thousands of nerves known as proprioceptors, and these nerve fibers tell your brain the position 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.
In the event that your neck is damaged, the proprioceptors can be disrupted, and this important information is no longer available to the postural control system of your brain, resulting in vertigo.
Cervicogenic dizziness usually resolves on its own with proper treatment of the injured neck structures.
Another type of vertigo is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. BPPV can be triggered by violent movements. 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 the violent motion of your head, these otoliths can actually be jarred from their normal position to other parts of your inner ear. There, they send signals to your brain that don't make sense, which causes confusion in your postural control system, and dizziness.
People with BPPV frequently report vertigo 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 vertigo after a car crash is vascular damage. Sometimes, injured neck arteries restrict blood flow to the brain. This type of injury is often felt as a pain in the back of the head that grows more intense over time, and it can be on either side of the head or in the middle. In some cases, the pain is felt as aching, 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 essential to seek medical attention quickly if you have these symptoms.
The fourth possible kind of dizziness is a brain injury. If your head struck something during the crash or if the crash was severe, you can suffer a mild traumatic brain injury. If you suffered a brain injury, you might experience fuzzy thinking, confusion, dizziness, or memory loss after the car accident. It's critical that you seek medical attention if you have these symptoms.
Chiropractic is a well-known, effective way to help men and women with dizziness, and we've helped many people with these types of injuries in Beaverton, Oregon.
If you have been in a car crash and have symptoms of back pain, Dr. Bhasin is here to help. We can identify the underlying cause of your pain and formulate a treatment plan to restore your health.
Call our office today for an appointment or for more information.
Sajko SS, Stuber K, Welsh TN. Chiropractic management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo using the Epley Maneuver: A case series. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013; 36(2): 119–126.