Meniere’s Disease: Getting to the Root of the Problem

menieres-disease-getting-root-problemMeniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear leading to a triad of symptoms:

  • Vertigo — the sensation that you or the things around you are spinning
  • Tinnitus — a ringing or other noise in the ear
  • Fluctuating hearing loss

Meniere’s usually affects one ear only. A person’s ears are responsible for helping keep his or her balance, in addition to hearing. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says approximately 615,000 people in the USA have Meniere’s. It most often affects those in the age range of 40 to 50 years. Often, people diagnosed with this condition go into remission a few years after their initial diagnosis.

What Causes Meniere’s Disease?

The exact cause of Meniere’s remains a mystery among medical professionals and scientists. One theory, which has been popular for many years, is that Meniere’s is linked to an abnormal build-up of fluid in the inner ear. How does this happen? The inner ear has compartments called the labyrinth, containing organs of balance (the semicircular canals and otolithic organs) and organs of hearing (the cochlea). There are two sections: the bony labyrinth and the membranous labyrinth. The latter is filled with endolymph fluid that stimulates the receptors in the balance organs when the body is in motion. These receptors send messages to the brain about how the body is moving and where it is located in its environment. Within the cochlea, the fluid is compressed in response to the vibrations of sound. This stimulates sensory cells to send signals to the brain.

When Meniere’s occurs, the endolymph build-up in the labyrinth does not drain properly and causes pressure. This hinders the normal balance and hearing signals between the brain and the inner ear. This is what leads to vertigo and the other symptoms of Meniere’s.

Why this happens is not clear. Some feel it is due to a similar process that causes migraine headaches:  the constriction of blood vessels. Others feel it may be a result of viruses, allergies, or autoimmune malfunctions. There is another possibility that genetics play a role because Meniere’s tends to run in families.

It is important to note, as well, that not all people with Meniere’s disease have abnormal fluid build-up in their inner ear. However, many of those that suffer from the condition have been seen to have a misalignment in the bones of their upper cervical spine. We will talk more about this later on.

Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease

Along with the triad of symptoms mentioned earlier  (tinnitus, vertigo, and hearing loss) other symptoms may be present. These include:

  • A feeling of congestion or fullness in the affected ear
  • Abnormal headaches or migraines
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Loss of balance and coordination

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image our complimentary e-book

Vertigo Relief in Faribault

The Root Cause of Meniere’s Disease Discovered!

Dr. Michael Burcon, an upper cervical chiropractor, who is affectionately called Dr. Mike by his patients, made a very interesting discovery in relation to Meniere’s disease in the year 1999. He noticed three of his patients with Meniere’s disease recovered quickly from their vertigo after getting an adjustment from him. They were delighted to find the thing that plagued them for years — disabling vertigo — had now completely gone away! He noted there was a common thread running among all of his patients with Meniere’s disease: they all had previous neck trauma, in particular, whiplash. He has successfully helped 725 cases of Meniere’s disease among his patients.

He states in recently published information how the understanding of Meniere’s is changing. Rather than it being linked to excessive fluid in the ear, it is now believed to be linked more closely to a misalignment of the bones of the upper cervical spine, particularly the C1 and C2. A misalignment in these bones puts the brainstem under stress and leads to it sending improper signals to the brain about the body’s location and movement. Dr. Burcon has seen a link between both Meniere’s disease and trigeminal neuralgia caused by whiplash type injuries. Another thing that occurs when the top bones of the neck are affected is they begin to create a lesion impacting the Eustachian tube and the trigeminal ganglion. He goes on to explain why this has not been seen earlier. It is due to the fact that it takes up to 15 years for the symptoms to occur. This is one reason most patients get diagnosed during middle age and they do not relate an accident that occurred 15 years ago to be the cause of the problems they now have.

Additional research reports on a study of 300 individuals with Meniere’s disease who had all suffered whiplash due to a vehicle accident. After receiving specific upper cervical chiropractic care, 97 percent of them saw a huge reduction in their symptoms. Overall, these patients reported that the primary symptom of Meniere’s disease (vertigo) has improved by more than 90%.

Finding Relief from Meniere’s Disease

The procedure Dr. Burcon uses is similar to what we use here at Humfeld Chiropractic & Nutrition Center in Faribault, Minnesota. We use specialize imaging and scientific measurements to find the exact location of your misalignment. We then employ a gentle method to help the bones move back into place by natural means. We do not have to resort to popping the spine or cracking the neck to get positive results. The method used allows for a longer-lasting adjustment, leading to fewer office visits down the road. It is side effect free, drug free, and painless. Most of our patients report similar results to those in the above-mentioned studies. They are especially glad to see vertigo dissipate so that they can once again lead a happy, healthy, and full life.


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