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Category: Case Studies
Date 27-jul-1999
Case Title Vertigo, Tinnitus, and Hearing Loss in the Geriatric Patient
Author Kessinger, Robert C., D.C.; Boneva, Dessy V., D.C.
Main Condition/ Disease  Hearing Disorders - vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss
Source J Manipulative Physiol Ther; June 2000; Vol. 23, No.5:352-62
Abstract A case report of an elderly woman suffering from long standing vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss. Upper cervical chiropractic was administered with a resultant alleviation of symptoms and improvements in the structure and function of her cervical spine. According to the authors "upper cervical manipulation may benefit patients who have tinnitus and hearing loss".
Summary In the introduction the authors report various literature which has reported correlations between cervical spine disorders/dysfunction and vestibulocochlear symptoms. Cervical spine dysfunction has been reported as a precipitating condition for dizziness, dysequilibrium, postural distortions, balance disorders and various 'ear' symptoms. Further, chiropractic care over many decades has reportedly improved and/or reversed symptoms like vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss.
In this case the patient presented with the above symptoms as well as anxiety attacks. Her posture revealed "significant anterior weight-bearing", in other words forward head posture. Audiology revealed hearing loss at certain frequencies, but "her hearing loss was most profound at higher frequencies".
Upper cervical chiropractic procedures were carried out using "parapsinal bilateral skin temperature differential analysis" and precision X-rays. The X-rays revealed the atlas listing as "anterior, superior and right". A specific chiropractic adjustment was carried out using the "knee-chest" approach, with pisiform contact on the posterior arch of the atlas.
The patient reported improvement in hearing (later confirmed with an audiometric study), "did not have dizzy spells, pressure in her ears, insomnia and a nervous condition was not present."
Hearing was most noticeably improved at the highest frequencies. The authors state "the clinical outcome of this case directs our attention to the cranio-vertebral junction as a possible source of pathophysiology" and further hypothesise as to the root cause of the mentioned medical conditions. For me this is yet another example of cervical spine problems manifesting themselves as hearing disorders and then being helped by the delivery of precise upper cervical correction through chiropractic.
Keywords vertigo; tinnitus; Meniere's; vestibular system; cervical spine; chiropractic; hearing loss

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