Some patients report dizziness or vertigo after a car crash. There are four leading causes of this problem after a crash.
The most frequent cause of dizziness is simply because of neck trauma - or what's called cervicogenic dizziness. Your spinal column contains tens of thousands of nerves called 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 injured, the proprioceptors can be disrupted, and this important data is no longer supplied to the postural control system of your brain, resulting in dizziness.
Cervicogenic dizziness usually resolves on its own with proper treatment of the damaged neck tissues.
Another kind of vertigo is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. BPPV can be brought about by violent movement of your head, as you could very well undergo during the course of a car wreck. Your inner ear contains tiny calcium crystals called otoliths. As you move your head, these crystals move against nerve endings in your inner ear, informing your brain about the position of your head. During a violent motion of your head, these otoliths can literally be jarred from their typical location to other parts of your inner ear. There, they send signals to your brain that don't make sense, resulting in confusion in your postural control system, and dizziness.
Patients with BPPV commonly report dizziness that appears when they move their head and neck in certain ways. Treatment of BPPV is accomplished 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 dizziness after an auto collision is vascular damage. On occasion, the arteries of the neck are damaged, causing disrupted 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 center. Occasionally the pain feels dull, and other times it might feel like a rise in pressure or a throbbing sensation.
This is a very serious type of injury and it's essential to seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.
The fourth potential kind of dizziness is brain injury. If your head hit something during the crash or if the impact 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 collision. It's critical that you seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
Chiropractic adjustments are a tried and tested, effective way to help people with dizziness, and we've been working with these types of injuries in San Francisco, CA since 2006.
If you have been in a car wreck and have symptoms of back pain, Dr. Stern is here to help. We can help pinpoint the underlying source of your pain and formulate a treatment plan to help you reclaim your health. We have helped many people in San Francisco, CA recover from these types of injuries.
Call our office today at (415) 308-7636 for a consultation or for more information.