I find dizziness to be a difficult symptom to diagnose. There are simply so many causes. And because symptoms often come and go, the cause of dizziness is hard to pin down and response to treatment is challenging.
Many years ago as a pre-med student, I had the good fortune to spend several summers in aviation medical research labs: two summers at McGill University and another at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. At that time the McGill lab's main focus was the neurophysiology of balance. The lab director was a former test pilot who had personal experience of the tricks that high‐speed acceleration can play on the body's nervous system.
It was a wonderful period of my life, but I think the most important lesson I learned was that balance is more than just balance organs. Balance is determined by three neurological inputs: the balance organs, the eyes, and the musculature of the upper neck. The function of the balance organs is self‐evident; the eyes function to monitor the visual horizon; and the neck's job is to provide a level platform for the vestibular apparatus and the eyes. (Of course the neck musculature is intimately connected with postural muscles everywhere in the body.)
Years later, I was able to apply some of this knowledge clinically when I began to study and practise osteopathy. The muscles of the upper neck are extremely important in body posture and balance. Dysfunction can lead to (among other things) disturbance of balance. And yes, manipulative treatment can make a difference.
The world of neural therapy opens our eyes to even more possibilities. As Professor Beltran outlined in his lecture at the Ottawa neural therapy conference, there are numerous communication systems in the body beyond the central nervous system. Interference fields can disturb balance in many ways, but probably none so directly as when they are found in upper wisdom teeth, or their scars.
Sometimes the relationship with balance is direct and simple; other times the relationships are complex. Here is a case in point:
A 61 year‐old man presented with 2 ½ years of intermittent vertigo and tinnitus. Episodes came without warning; when severe they were accompanied by vomiting; the tinnitus was bilateral but worse on the right side. During bad stretches he had attacks almost every day. A normally vigorous man, his energy had dropped significantly since the onset of these symptoms.
Generally speaking he was healthy with no serious illness or trauma in his past. He had been taking medication for hypertension for many years and a statin drug for hypercholesterolemia. However, he had had all his upper teeth extracted not long before the onset of his symptoms and he wondered if there were a connection. He found his denture uncomfortable and hard to tolerate.
On examination there was no significant disturbance of his mechanics in the head, neck or anywhere in his body. However with autonomic response testing (ART) an interference field was detected at tooth space 1.8 (right upper wisdom tooth). There was also a resonance with dental infection homeopathics indicating chronic infection. Treatment was by the Tenscam device using the ultraviolet frequency (bactericidal for dental pathogens). Three treatments over eleven days resulted in complete remission of all symptoms for about one year.
His symptoms returned suddenly after riding an all‐terrain vehicle over rough ground. No interference field could be detected in the tooth space, but his neck and his right sacroiliac joint mechanics were disturbed. In addition, an interference field was found in his right tonsil. The mechanical disturbances were treated using osteopathic manipulation and the interference field was treated with the Tenscam. Five days later he reported that his symptoms had worsened. An interference field was detected this time on the opposite (left) side and treated. Again there was little improvement, but this time the old (tooth space 1.8) interference field declared itself and was treated with the Tenscam. A few days later, the attacks subsided and he is now (nine months later) symptom free.
This case is interesting for more than one reason. What I found most intriguing was the mechanical disturbance acting as a "second blow" (Speransky's term), and reawakening the dental interference field. Tonsils lie adjacent to the superior cervical ganglia and interference fields here often indicate mechanical disturbance in the neck and head. I imagine what happened was neurological summation of mechanical inputs with "tissue memory" of the dental infection and the related vertigo and tinnitus.
Robert F. Kidd, MD, CM