On June 3, 2016, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a study showing chiropractic helping patients with Meniere’s disease (MD). According to the National Institutes of Health website, “Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Meniere’s disease usually affects only one ear.”
The study reports that a diagnosis of Meniere’s disease is reached when all other possible diseases with the same symptoms are ruled out. The study author reports that, “According to the Prosper Meniere Society a diagnosis of Meniere’s disease requires at least two spontaneous episodes of vertigo, each lasting 20 minutes or longer, hearing loss verified by a hearing test on at least one occasion, tinnitus or aural fullness and exclusion of other known causes of these sensory problems.”
In this study, 300 patients suffering from Meniere’s disease underwent a chiropractic examination. This included a case history, a physical and postural examination, thermographic heat studies and spinal x-rays of the upper portion of the neck. In all 300 of these patients, it was reported that there was some sort of prior neck trauma, such as whiplash, years earlier.
In each of the cases, a conclusion of the presence of subluxations in the upper neck area was made. With this information, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments appropriate to each of the patients was made when indicated.
Patients in this study were asked to rate their condition on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no symptoms and 10 being the worst imaginable. Prior to the study, the average rating given by the participants was 8.5 out of 10. Most patients reported that their condition made daily activities such as driving, working or socializing difficult to engage in.
After six weeks of chiropractic care, the average score lowered from 8.5 down to 3.0. In long-term follow-ups, the scores continued to improve reducing to 2.0 after one year, 1.4 after two years, 0.9 after three years, and eventually leveling off at a rating of only 0.8 thereafter. In 291 of the participants, chiropractic care had a profoundly positive effect on their condition and their lives, improving their ability to work, drive and have a better relationship with their spouse.
In the study conclusion the author wrote, “One hundred percent of three hundred consecutive patients medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease also having suffered a whiplash trauma is unlikely coincidental.” He continued, “All patients with a history of vertigo should be questioned about a history of trauma, especially whiplash from an automobile accident, contact sports injury, or serious falls. Patients often forget these accidents, thinking that they were not hurt because they did not break any bones and were not bleeding.”
Based on the findings in this study, the author recommends that all patients suffering from vertigo with a history of some sort of trauma should be evaluated by a chiropractor.