Ask the Doc: Can chiropractic help my dizziness?

Editor’s note: Dr. Philip Schalow’s featured article, “Ask the Doc,” appears monthly. This is the sixth column in the series. Send questions for Dr. Schalow to and he will answer each one individually and choose a sampling for this article.

By Dr. Philip Schalow

Dizziness, also called vertigo, is considered a mismatch in the senses that can involve any of the 27 elements of the balance mechanism. These elements can be categorized into the following five areas:

1. Inner ear elements that include the semicircular canals;

2. Nerves and nerve pathways in the brain stem;

3. Nerve centers (nuclei) in the brainstem;

4. Muscles of the eyes and how they hold position; and

5. Signals coming from the joints and muscles of the neck (in particular) that tell you where you are in space.

Sometimes the problem starts with the inner ear, when material on the inside breaks loose and moves into areas where it shouldn’t be. There are clever procedures with body movements or head movements that help to correct that.

An infection can produce swelling in the related areas that interfere with normal signals. Interrupted blood flow can reduce the ability of the brainstem nerves to process signals correctly.

Subluxation can cause all of these events to occur; yes, even affecting the muscles of the eyes! The chiropractic definition of subluxation involves bone segments out of proper relationship causing interference with nerve conduction.

Several things happen with the subluxation — blood flow decreases, body tissues begin to decay, normal drainage functions decrease, joint surfaces of the spine don’t match up like they should, and muscles go into spasm. All these events cause wrong signals to go into the head and create conditions that decrease the brain’s ability to process those wrong signals.

With chiropractic, we are able to set up conditions favorable for the body to heal on its own by precisely correcting the subluxation. Once the spine and head are balanced again, body tissues can drain, blood flow improves, blocked nerves “wake up,” and the mismatch in the senses goes away.

Some conditions creating dizziness are not easily reversible; particularly, damage to the brain or spinal cord from alcohol use or trauma. In those cases, the healing process requires lots of work from many types of practitioners, including the patient.

In every case we have managed, the “1st Step” is to restore normal communication and balance between the brain and body.

Dr. Philip Schalow is a NUCCA practitioner in Rockford. He owns 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., 4519 Highcrest Road, Rockford. Call (815) 398-4500 for details or visit

From the June 12-18, 2013, issue

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