The Meniere's diagnosis involves symptoms pertaining to the ear and vestibular system. People with this condition experience vertigo (dizzy, spinning sensation), hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and pressure or "fullness" of the ear. Symptoms will appear in episodes- with periods of some relief in between.
Of the people who develop this condition (1 out of every 500), most will be between the age of 30 and 50 when they first experience it. Traditionally Meniere's will affect one ear and in 30% of cases will affect both ears. There are a variety of contributing factors to developing the condition with the most prevalent being neck injuries such as whiplash. These injuries create an abnormal structural relationship between the skull and spine as well as the adaptation of abnormal spinal curvatures that alter the nerve system. The normal spine protects the brainstem/spinal cord while the abnormal spine produces tension and stress on the same critical structures. Chiropractic researcher Dr. Michael Burcon made an interesting observation in working specifically with Meniere's patients; the average onset of Meniere's symptoms was 15 years after the whiplash event that caused the initial injuries! Many patients could not remember a specific injury or whiplash event but still showed clinical evidence of upper cervical spinal misalignment and responded well to care.
Dr. Burcon authored the paper that reported on 300 cases with Meniere's Disease and their response to upper cervical chiropractic care. His findings were that 97% of those cases reported a dramatic decrease in their vertigo symptoms. Vertigo intensity was rated by each patient on a scale of 0 to 10. The average was 8.5 out of 10 at the beginning of care and decreased to 3 out of 10 on average after six weeks of care. Dr. Burcon tracked some patients in this study up to six years and recorded better than 90% improvement on average for the patients remaining under periodic care for that duration.
While the factors contributing to Meniere's related symptoms can be many and varied, it seems that Dr. Burcon uncovered the root cause of this condition. The clinical significance of these findings is not that every person with Meniere's-type symptoms has abnormal neuro-spinal dynamics. Symptoms alone are no great indicator of function or dysfunction. Dizziness, vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear pressure could be caused by an array of circumstances including other treatments or medications. The findings do suggest that individuals diagnosed with Meniere's or who are experiencing persistent Meniere's-like symptoms could benefit from upper cervical care pending an examination to identify clinical evidence of unresolved upper cervical spinal injury.
1. Burcon, MT. Health outcomes following cervical specific protocol in 300 patients with Meniere's followed over six years. J Upper Cervical Chiropr Res: Spring 2016(2016:2): Online access only p 13-23.https://www.mccoypress.net/juccr/docs/2016-1430_menieres.pd
We are taking the following precautionary measures in our office to ensure our office is an Oasis of Health:
We are open our normal business hours
No more Patient Clip Boards or Signing-In for the next few weeks to minimize cross-contamination (ie people touching less stuff in our office)
Chiropractic Tables Are Cleaned Between Each Patient
Children's toys have been removed from family room
Bathrooms are cleaned 2x/day
Surfaces in the office that are commonly touched areas are cleaned multiple times per hour (door handles, chairs, sink knobs, etc)
Patients that are sick are requested to stay home
Patients who are well are encouraged to make their appointments... chiropractic adjustments decrease stress on your body and increase immune system function
Staff that is Sick will not be allowed in the office