Some improvement to share...

I wanted to share that I’ve had some improvement with an alternative treatment. I know that alternative treatments are controversial so I am in no way recommending this, just sharing.

I have been to all the specialists like everyone else. I’ve been told Menieres, MAV, basilar migraine, cluster headache, and anxiety. This all started abt 5-6yrs ago with attacks of stuffy nose with head pressure, eye tearing and twitching, facial and neck pain, all on the left side always. This was followed by the development of disequilibrium, with rare quick spins. Brain Mri all normal. Along with this, I’ve suffered what they’re calling fibromyalgia since age 20. The last several years, it has settled into my left neck and shoulder pretty badly. After this last spell of dizziness came on in late March, I decided to go back through the Dr route- all tests normal- VNG, MRI. So went back to physical therapy for the left neck and jaw, thinking it was to blame. My therapist, who is highly regarded, suggested that I see an upper cervical chiropractor. I was dubious but desperate, and I trusted the therapist, so I went abt 3wks ago.

The first adjustment was done by the Dr who was recommended to me. I noticed immediate relief of certain symptoms- tingling in hands stopped, elbow pain stopped. I also felt calmer. I was pretty sleepy and slept well that night. I was warned I might be sore. The next day I had some regular left side facial pain/autonomic symptoms. But my neck pain was gone. Day 3 had aching in both sides neck and shoulder. I thought this is baloney! Took advil. Slept well again. Was so focussed in on neck that I didn’t realize that disequilibrium was gone. Day 4 felt great. So great that I didn’t realize how much chronic pain I was in for years until it stopped! Left sided facial pain gone, and no daily cluster migraine attacks. Yay! Then went for follow up in 6 days, and different Dr was there. He adjusted C3 vertebrae, and I immediately felt a stabbing pain from the back of my head, straight into left eye/nostril. I told him and was told to give it time. Well, time did not help. I proceeded to have daily cluster migraine attacks, and my dizziness was slowly returning. Appt yesterday with ORIGINAL Dr. I explained everything and he mentioned how a few patients go out opposite way with c3. He did adjustment. I was again tired and slept well. Noticed immediately that left symptoms abated. I have had a “ghost” of an attack today… Just stuffed nose and increased tinnitus, but NO pain or eye watering/twitching. Knots in left upper arm, neck, face, eye area are gone. I would say I am 70% of normal. Before the “bad” adjustment but after the first, I was abt 85% normal. I go weekly, and am scheduling only when the original Dr is there.

I do not think this would work for everyone. Im not even sure it is a permanent treatment for me yet. What gives me some insight was the instantaneous appearance of my symptoms with the bad adjustment. That was the first time anything has directly triggered my symptoms. So I believe it has something to do with the trigeminal complex near c3, and/or my neck itself. I also do believe my symptoms are migraine for sure. Personal and family history of same weird migraines are established. But I also think that in my case, my neck and/or that region is triggering migraine activity. I go for neck mri tomorrow so that will be interesting. At any rate, if this chiropractic does not end up working long-term, I plan to persue injections into the c3 area (as are done for occipital and trigeminal neuralgia) in hopes of stopping pain and resulting migraine.

I have seen posts similar to yours from Scott and many others. For lots of folks neck PT helps. Though i am very sceptical about chiropractor and would prefer a PT anyday
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For any of you dealing with neck pain issues and suspect your neck is triggering this crap, I’d highly recommend you find a PT or physiotherapist who knows what the Watson Approach is and get into it. My physio did this for me about 3 years ago now. It literally changed my life. I still get migraine garbage here and there but rarely dizzy now and have this monster well and truly reined in.

Dean is competing his PhD. It’s evidence based stuff. No nonsense here. 1


I’ve tooted this horn a bunch, but I’ll do it again. My atlas orthogonal chiropractor worked minor miracles for me.


Flutters, how long did it take before your adjustments “held”, and do you feel you’ve had long term relief?

I saw them 2x/week for a few weeks, then once a week, then every two weeks. It took several visits to get it to hold. I also did exercises at home. It held for longer and longer periods of time, occasionally slipping between visits. That went on for a month or two. It’s held now for a couple of months. It’s been significant enough that when my insurance stopped paying at 12 visits, I’ve been willing to pay cash. I’m in much less neck pain, I can turn my head, and I’m less dizzy. I’ve had fewer migraines, too. It’s not a panacea, but it’s been an important part of a coordinated treatment strategy along with lifestyle changes, VRT and meds.


Anything that helps must be worth having however how would one know the neck was causing issues. Neck ache is pretty common amongst sufferers of any balance disorder. I had it for years. Thought VRT had sorted it. For me it comes with or precedes an attack and/or is the result of centre of gravity being way off post attacks.

The neck is strong. MAV affects yr balance. Yr balance puts yr body alignment out. The human head is heavy. Extra pressure on yr neck. Voila. Neckache. I guess if yr body alignment is out, you most likely will have backache as well as neck ache. Perhaps it would have better better if our ancestors had not got up from all fours after all.

My x-rays were obvious and conclusive. A very subluxed atlas and consequent misalignment down the spine. When it’s out, it’s unmistakable, particularly now that I know the difference.

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So my Neuro said that my neck could be a contributing issue because it hurts on that side almost all the time, not just in an episodic fashion with other migraine symptoms. It’s true that migraine can cause neck pain and crunchiness, but it’s usually episodic. Also, pretty bad chronic neck pain, that they call fibromyalgia, preceded this recent MAV flare by months. These reasons are why my Neuro ordered a neck mri for today. Furthermore, it became pretty clear to me that something in my neck is triggering my facial/pain autonomic symptoms when the second adjustment was made. Those symptoms came on INSTANTANEOUSLY, and I was feeling normal and fine just seconds before.

And yes, as flutters says, they do xrays from different angles that can show the misalignment if you have one. I had a car accident when I was younger, and had a “sidelash” type of injury where my head hit the passenger window sideways. It is thought that these old injuries can cause trouble later…

2 broadsides and 2 whiplash incidents and arthritis precipitated mine. I still have MAV. I’m still dizzy most of the time and have episodic migraines, but fixing the neck made life so much better.

@flutters too.

Ah, when there has been previous trauma that would make neck being a cause seem an obvious possibility. Sure @turnitaround will have thoughts on other links there.

For sure … you could have an inner ear injury from a big hit to the side of the head … as @dizzylife only knows too well.

My old boss lost hearing in one ear after been knocked out at a basketball game. He wasn’t aware he’d hurt his ear and took a domestic flight 3 weeks later and went completely deaf in the injured ear on take off!

Even basic whiplash can cause secondary hydrops.

This woman injured her ear from diving into a pool awkwardly.

The nature of secondary hydrops is it can turn symptomatic only years later … so it’s sometimes hard to connect it to the original trauma.

However, I’d expect you’d have had some clues from the accident … like some ear symptoms that initially might have seemed to have disappeared (this is more or less what happened to me).

Such inner ear injuries are so small they don’t usually show up on CT, so easily missed by trauma doctors and with head injuries its probably normal to feel dazed afterwards so no-one connects the dots to determine you’ve had a proper insult to your vestibular system.

It also doesn’t help we have this current fashion in diagnosis because it causes doctors to dismiss things as migraine, when you could have had an actual injury (e.g. me). My current doctor over-ruled my previous consultant and told me they’d got it wrong and I was correct in believing that mine was from trauma (what a relief it was to hear that I can tell you!!)

My doctor thinks I may have fractured my Stapes … but there no way to tell without surgery as the fissures are just too small. The outcome of surgery is very uncertain so I’ve chosen not to go down that route. It’s also a bit late!

The good news is that these trauma injuries usually burn out my doctor tells me, but can take years to do so.

Yes @turnitaround is spot on, whiplash (even at very low speeds) can cause all sorts of ear injuries which most ENT doctors in the UK don’t seem to know about. Insisting on getting referred to the specialist ENT centres (I go to UCLH London) is the first step as they explore the more unusual injuries from head trauma more readily. As James knows I was told for 2 years I had everything from TMJ to Menieres when it turned out to be a Perilymph Fistula (which causes extreme vertigo as well as many other debilitating symptoms) from whiplash. Prof Saeed at UCLH now suspects Secondary Hydrops (as James mentioned) which has arisen from the first condition taking so long to be found and repaired (my 3rd PLF repair is scheduled for next month). I hope you continue to find some lasting relief though.

Yep! Even my neighbour, Teaching Professor and A&E Consultant (specialising in knife and gunshot wounds) didn’t even recognise the signs - it’s that specialist! (I was a bit cross with him tbh).

Interesting thoughts… It is interesting to me that it seems that we all, perhaps, have different things going on. For me, I’ve had what is called fleeting tinnitus or spontaneous tinnitus for as young as I can remember as a child. It was in both ears and happened rarely. I’ve read that many people get it with no consequence. But the when I had sudden sensioneural hearing loss a few yrs ago, it happened during a fleeting tinnitus bout. Very strange. I had no other symptoms- no dizziness, no migraine. It came back in 3 days with remains a mystery.

I was very healthy until I got mono at age 17. After that, I got a ton of allergies that I’ve mostly outgrown. Then later the auto accident… It was a year or so after that I developed migraine and debilitating fibromyalgia. Then it went mostly underground in my late 20s and during my 30s, though I’d still have some flares and a handful of migraines. I was also told in my 20s that I had a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system, and I believe that (I personally thing it’s at the root of many of my issues). Then MAV came on and fibro came back mid 40s (hormones). The fibro mainly settles in my neck and upper back/shoulders. I’ve read that they’ve found many people with fibro (even widespread) have neck problems. I need to research that a bit more.

My best success with tackling the dizziness relapses is to look at what came before. When it first hit, I had started taking hormone replacement but my Dr’s all though it should help rather that hurt. Wrong. Now, I find my dizziness relapses to be preceded by a few months of a major fibro flare (for me that means Jan-Mar). Then that eases, and the vertigo/imbalance comes on. My theory on that is that trigger points or spasms are set up in my neck that begin triggering migraine or cervicogenic dizziness (or both).
I guess my theory right now is that we all share in common a genetically sensitive or aberrant nervous system, and many different things trigger it, and the result is that it manifests in different ways.



Give this poster some sort of extra reward. She’s a genius. Oh, if only GPs and other medics here in UK at least would take more detailed history …er. … ‘What went before’ … I think medicine might just make some progress, and it’s so simple, just pen and paper (for those that remember such stuff). That’s what sorted me - the neuro-otologist took a detailed history and read it all back to me as if his life depended on it. Maybe his livelihood does!

Absolutely. You’ve got it in one. We must all have a genetic predisposition to cause it. Sure of it. Some event happens, a trauma, RTA, whatever … maybe even a migraine … one person just bounces straight back and another develops something relatively unusual.

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I bet you were!! I told you I had a Professor of ENT tell me it “categorically wasn’t an ENT problem” that I had. That is why we need to lobby more for these so called “unusual” (although read Washington Post Article I’ve messaged you with) issues, if these doctors aren’t updated how will they know when the next person comes along what to look for?

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It doesn’t seem like Watson has spoken in the US about this according to the free document his website sent me but if you know anyone in the US who does this I’m interested though I’ve seen two atlas chiropractors and I’ve done neck x-rays and I’ve seen physical therapists and I’ve had a full spine MRI including the neck and none of it has helped (they diagnosed me with conditions) so It seems like this probably wouldn’t unless you think I’m mistaken? From reading about it it seems the Watson approach is very similar to Atlas and relies on neck x-rays and a skilled Chiropractor examination which I feel like I’ve done. I’m getting the two month free trial of the CGRP medication Aimovig so hopefully that does the trick if not I was going to try botox

Good luck with this and let us know how it works for you. You are the first brave soul in this forum atleast. Have you thought about what happens when it is not free anymore and are there repercussions to stop suddenly.

Moving on to Watsom technique there is one person on Oregon who does it. Not sure where you are located. It is more predominantly used in Australia.

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