Upper Cervical and Vertigo

Upper Cervical is an upper cervical chiropractic approach that provides a natural, non-invasive answer for a number of health issues, including migraines, back and neck pain, ear aches in children and more. One little known fact is that Upper Cervical also helps those suffering with vertigo.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo presents with dizziness, the feeling that everything around the afflicted is spinning. While vertigo is typically a symptom of inner ear infections, it has also been linked to vision problems. It’s difficult to establish the exact causes of vertigo, however studies are showing that upper cervical problems can be an underlying cause for some forms of vertigo, including cervicogenic vertigo, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Meniere’s disease and Disembarkment Syndrome. Symptoms of vertigo are generally intermittent, however, can be extremely incapacitating and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a number of hours. During an episode, besides a feeling of dizziness and the spinning sensation, the patient can feel extremely sleepy. All of the vertigo symptoms can make it difficult for the individual to walk because of the spinning and dizziness, and also makes it hard to go to work or carry out regular day to day activities.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic - Upper Cervical Care

The upper cervical region of the spine pertains to the two vertebrae found at the top of the spine, underneath the head and it's responsible for the flexibility and rotation of the neck and head. Similar to the rest of the spine, this area is vulnerable to injury. In many cases, patients are able to recall a specific injury like a car accident or other head injury that took place before they experienced symptoms. In other cases, sufferers aren't able to pinpoint the injury that led to their vertigo problems. As a matter of fact, it can take months for the signs of vertigo to show up after an injury.


Because there's a large number of important nerves transmitted through the upper cervical spine area, traveling to and from the brain, an injury to this area, even simple stresses, can cause a number of problems in other parts of the body; this is where the connection between Upper Cervical and vertigo presents itself. If the vertebrae are forced out of alignment, even marginally, vertigo can develop. Upper Cervical care entails correcting the injured cervical vertebrae's positioning, thereby realigning the vertebrae, which can eliminate, or at the very least, reduce the symptoms of several types of vertigo.

If you're tired of feeling dizzy, off balance and like you're living in a fog, Upper Cervical may just be the answer to your problems. A lot of primary care physicians believe that vertigo is primarily caused by neck or ear issues, however they typically don't know how to treat it except to prescribe prescription medications. Upper Cervical provides a safe, gentle, natural vertigo approach that's proven to help vertigo problems that are related to upper cervical misalignment and are well worth considering.


Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net/

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NUCCA Chiropractic Care

What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.

Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.

Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.

The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.

Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed. 

First adjustment
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.

The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:

  • Gentle adjustment to the neck with no turning, twisting or popping.
  • Precision x-rays to measure before and after corrections.
  • Total body posture and balance improvement
  • Greater stability to the spine
  • Hold adjustments longer with fewer visits

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