How Your Ears and Hearing Relate to your Cervical Spine
Many chronic health problems can be caused by inner ear problems. It is also true that neck problems can cause inner ear problems. Vertigo, hydrous (fluid in the ears) tinnitus and Meniere’s disease (hearing loss), can all be coming from the neck.
These health problems are related to nerves that either exit the brain-stem or have their nuclei in the brain-stem. Studies have shown how important the upper neck is in the function of inner ear conditions. Many health issues have their roots in your neck (cervical spine)
Results of many studies have shown that upper cervical neck injuries can result in Meniere’s disease and the symptoms that are associated with it
1 In a paper published in 2006 showed that correction of upper cervical misalignment was responsible for 134 out of 136 cases with Meniere’s disease. Once these individuals had their upper cervical misalignments corrected they either mostly or completely recovered with their Meniere’s disease. Other research shows that there is a relationship between the Eustachian tube and the upper cervical spine
2. One of the most common symptoms Meniere’s patients talk about is a clogged or “stuffed “ ear. There is evidence that this symptom is the result of dysfunction of the neurology that controls the tone of the muscles that line the Eustachian tube. Studies point out that the average onset of Meniere’s disease is 12.5 years after a neck injury. Other research suggests that neck injury can result in tightening of the sub occipital muscles (muscles at base of skull). A muscle of interest, rectus capitis, oblique minor, has been tied to spinal cord interference.
3 It appears that neck injury has several mechanisms in which it interferes with normal neurology of the upper cervical spine. This may be what is the underlying cause of Meniere’s disease, some vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss and lack of balance (righting response)
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