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Meniere’s Disease and Whiplash: What Is the Connection?

Meniere’s disease (which affects the inner ear), vertigo, tinnitus and other vestibular conditions can have a dramatic effect on a person’s quality of life. They may also be difficult to treat as the causes can be unknown. 

However, at San Diego Integrative Spine Center in Rancho Penasquitos, California, we believe there is a connection between these conditions and the bones in a person’s upper spine.   

This is because the nerves in a person’s upper neck extend up to their ears, which means an injury to the upper neck can also affect the nerves in the brain, for example, causing hearing loss. The upper spine also houses the brainstem, which connects the spinal cord and brain and ensures the body functions correctly.   

I’ve also noticed a connection between these conditions and whiplash, which is often caused by the bones in the upper cervical part of the spine becoming misaligned. 

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


Interestingly only half of all whiplash injuries are caused by car accidents. The rest are due to some kind of trauma or injury to head, which could take place during strenuous exercise, contact sports, or a particularly bad fall.    

Sometimes it can take as long as 15 years for a person to experience symptoms, and for this reason, many people don’t realize they’re suffered a whiplash injury many years in the past, especially if the injury was not caused by a car accident.   

The recent research has also shown that when the bones are misaligned a lesion can form that affects the eustachian tube, which can affect hearing. It may be that this connection was not made in earlier studies because of the length of time between an injury and the manifestation of symptoms.   

So if you suffer from Meniere’s, tinnitus, or even frequent acute ear infections, it may be worth visiting an upper cervical chiropractor who will be able to check for any problems in your upper spine and realign neck vertebrae that have moved out of place. 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.


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Meniere's Disease – Causes and Triggers

Do you suffer from Vertigo? Do you also hear constant ringing? If you said yes to both of those, your dizzy spells and ringing in your ears may be symptomatic of Meniere's Disease. This condition is accompanied by fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, and bouts of Vertigo. It can affect anyone at any age, but it most commonly affect people in their 40's and 50's.

Causes of Meniere's Disease

The causes are unknown, but current research suggests it may either be the result of a large amount of or types of fluids in the inner ear. The inner ear contains hair-like sensors that respond to fluids that move throughout it. There needs to be a certain amount of volume, pressure, and chemical compound that tell these hair-like sensors to function properly. Research suggests that a probable cause may be that when those factors of fluid are altered, Meniere's Disease occurs.

Other possible causes include:

  • Improper fluid drainage (caused by a blockage or anatomic abnormality)
  • Abnormal Immune Response
  • Allergies
  • Viral Infection
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Head Trauma
  • Migraines
Though, knowing what causes Meniere's Disease is not as important as knowing what you can do about it. It's very important that you not just live with it because if left alone it can lead to permanent hearing loss. You can begin by eliminating certain foods and beverage from your diet that may trigger this condition

Meniere's Disease Triggers

  • Salt
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Allergies (anything you allergic to may trigger Meniere's Disease)

Eliminating those items may lessen your episodes, but they will not focus on the source of the problem. An upper cervical chiropractor can. They can examine your upper neck vertebrae and focus on the underlying cause of your problem by correcting any misalignments in your upper neck that may be contributing to your inner ear problems. Misalignments in the upper neck have been shown to influence the nerves that control the year and lead to problems with fluid accumulation and other neurological issues.


To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.


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Natural Relief of Meniere’s Disease in San Diego

There are very few things that can make living in San Diego unpleasant. Between 70 miles of beach and over 260 days of sunshine. Unless you suffer from Menieres Disease, which can make the sound of ocean waves deafening and any bright light agonizing.

Menieres Disease equally affects men and women typically from the ages of 20-50 years old. The condition is related to the fluid of the inner ear which is responsible for balance and proprioception (the body’s orientation of where it is in space). Symptoms of menieres include:

  • Sensation of fullness in the ears
  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing loss
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Menieres Disease is difficult to diagnose and is even harder to effectively treat. Treatments may vary from dietary changes to invasive surgery, and have limited effectiveness. Natural relief of Menieres disease has been shown through upper cervical chiropractic.

There is a relationship between Menieres Disease and the upper neck/upper cervical spine. Misalignment (subluxation) of the C0/Occipit, C1/Atlas, and C2/Axis bones may be a causative factor in Menieres symptoms. In a research study of 139 patients with medically diagnosed Menieres disease, 136 experienced reduction and/or of symptoms after one or two upper cervical adjustments1 . The same technique utilized in this study gives hope for natural relief of Menieres Disease in San Diego at San Diego Integrative Spine Center.

The specialized upper cervical procedure uses tests to detect misalignment (subluxation) in the upper neck. If it is present specific x-rays are taken to measure the exact degree of misalignment and tailor the perfect adjustment. Adjustments are delivered only as needed and when the neck is properly aligned the body can regain it’s ability to balance properly. 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.


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Me and my Meniere’s Disease

If you or anyone you has Meniere’s disease, you know how devastating it can be to living daily life with this condition. It may be as simple as ringing in the ears, a headache or mild dizziness, or as severe as crippling vertigo, nausea, and vomiting lasting for days. Whether mild or extreme, neither is enjoyable.

What it is:

Meniere’s disease is characterized by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as having several key symptoms including:

  • Vertigo
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • A sensation of fullness in the ears.

In Meniere’s disease these symptoms come in episodes that may last only 20 minutes or up to 4 hours. The common cause is believed to be abnormal amounts of the fluid that is in the inner ear; this fluid is how the body establishes balance and relates that information to the brain through the Vestibulocochlear nerve/Cranial Nerve VIII. This typically happens in adults from the ages of 20-50 years old, equally affecting men and women.1

What to do:

The simple treatments for Meniere’s vary from: low salt diets, anti-vertigo medications, injections made into the inner ear, and invasive surgery. Since there is not one particular known cause the results differ from case to case depending on the treatment.

M. Hülse, Professor of ENT at Heidelberg University, found that in 259 patients with Meniere’s disease type symptoms could be linked to abnormalities in the upper neck. This area is technically termed the “upper cervical spine” and consists of the C0/Occipit, C1/Atlas, and C2/Axis bones. He found in a study of 62 patients that hearing deficits could be reversible under the use of chiropractic care.2

Upper Cervical chiropractors utilize techniques and tools to assess the integrity of the upper neck and make a specific correction if necessary. If there is a misalignment between C0/C1/C2 it may cause symptoms like Meniere’s disease. One upper cervical chiropractor examined and adjusted 139 patients who were medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. 136 of the 139 experienced “an absence or dramatic reduction of symptoms, especially vertigo” within one or two specific adjustments.3 All 139 patients reported previous injury to the neck.

If you have Meniere’s disease or any of the symptoms associated it is crucial to have the upper neck examined by an Upper cervical chiropractor.


1. American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Meniere's Disease. (accessed 2/2/201).

2. Hulse M. The Cervical Vertebra as a Cause of Hearing Disorders. German HNO Conference, Muenster 1993,42:604613.

3. Burcon MT. Upper cervical specific protocol and results for 139 patients with medically diagnosed meniere’s disease. , J Vertebral Subluxation Res November 14, 2010:1-10. 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.


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Glee Star Kristin Chenoweth Has Meniere’s Disease

Kristin Chenoweth and Ménière’s Disease

Contact music is reporting that Glee star Kristin Chenoweth is suffering from the inner ear condition Meniere's disease, which can cause episodes of vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss, and she's struggling to deal with the condition.

Talking to, she writes, "Oh menieres disease. I'd like to eliminate you."

Chenoweth has yet to share any further details about her illness, and it is not clear whether her current condition is related to the accident she suffered on the set of TV legal drama The Good Wife last July, when a lighting rig fell and hit her on the head. The incident left her with a fractured skull, concussion, three cracked teeth, and neck, rib and hip injuries.

But frequently head and neck trauma can initiate the onset of Ménière's disease and other conditions. Some of the most hopeful research for Ménière's sufferers has come out in the past 5 years.

Latest Research Points to the Upper Neck

Dr. Michael Burcon has investigated the effects of upper cervical specific chiropractic management of patients medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. Dr. Burcon has shared his findings with Ménière's research conferences around the world.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.


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