Donald K. Liebell, D.C., B.C.A.O.
477 Viking Drive Suite 170
Virginia Beach VA 23452
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F
(and by Special Appointment)
The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions
Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief
Dr. Donald Liebell
Licensed by the Virginia Board
of Medicine Since 1993
I'm here to help, and I'll be glad to personally answer your questions. Please type your first name in the box on the contact form. Please check the box to receive email updates to give me permission to correspond with you by email, and type your question in the message box.
I respond to questions in the order I receive them,
usually within 1-3 business days. My responses are for
general information only, and must not be considered as
advice for specific medical treatment or diagnosis
. For appointments, please call my office at: (757) 631-9799.
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Breakthrough Science For Sufferers of
Vertigo, Dizziness, & Meniere’s Disease
By Dr. Donald Liebell
There’s new hope for sufferers of dizziness, vertigo, balance trouble, and ear pressure. Sometimes sufferers of these symptoms are diagnosed as having Meniere’s Disease. Meniere’s disease has a vast history, with few substantial solutions provided since it was first reported by Dr. Prosper Meniere in 1861. It may begin with just one of the above symptoms and progress gradually with others.
No exact cause of Meniere’s disease has been established or agreed upon. It has been theorized that it’s related to an increase in pressure and volume of a fluid that exists outside the cells, called endolymph. Other factors that have been suggested include aspirin use, alcohol and smoking, as well as viral infection. There is no specific medical test for Meniere’s disease. The diagnosis is typically made as a result of other conditions and causes being ruled out.
Fortunately, acupuncture has shown some promise with Meniere's disease, as well as other conditions with similar symptoms. In addition, doctors who specialize in the upper neck (cervical spine) have found it most certainly can be involved in Meniere’s as well. More importantly, through precise structural correction of upper neck imbalances, 3-phase auricular therapy (ear acupuncture), and cold laser therapy, considerable success with patients suffering Meniere’s disease has been achieved at the Liebell Clnic.
It's not exactly surprising that acupuncture would not be the focus of medical research for dizziness or ringing of the ears. It seems that little investigation goes into the causes of these symptoms. Sadly, the neck aspect of diagnosis for this condition has been largely ignored by the American “mainstream” health care system too. However, a recent medical research paper in the International Tiniitus Journal (2007, Vol. 13, No. 2. pp. 132-137) has revealed some critical support to our viewpoint:
”Unquestionably, the upper cervical spine [top of the neck], the Temporomandibular joints [TMJ or jaw joint], the Eustachian tube, and the autonomic nervous system can contribute to the global symptom complex of Meniere’s disease… Clinical practice also shows that treating disorders of the upper cervical spine and temporomandibular joints can lessen Ménière’s disease symptoms, suggesting a relationship.”
- Burkhard Franz and Colin Anderson, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Melbourne, and Tinnitus Research and Balance Clinic, Victoria, Australia - The Potential Role of Joint Injury and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction in the Genesis of Secondary Ménière’s Disease
The researchers indicated that the neck (and the TMJ) could be related to Meniere’s disease through nerve and/or blood vessel connections… and that expert treatment of the upper neck has been successful in treating patients with Meniere’s symptoms.
CRANIO, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice also published research revealing that the majority of patients in their Meniere’s study had neck problems:
“Symptoms of cervical spine disorders, such as head and neck/shoulder pain, were all significantly more frequent in the patient group than in the control group. Most of the patients (75%) reported a strong association between head neck movements in the atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial joints [top of the neck] and triggered attacks of vertigo… The study shows a much higher prevalence of signs and symptoms of cervical spine disorders in patients diagnosed with Meniere's disease compared with control subjects from the general population.
- Cranio. 1998 Jul;16(3):194-202. Cervical signs and symptoms in patients with Meniere's disease: a controlled study. Bjorne A, Berven A, Agerberg G. Clinic of Periodontology, Lasarettet, Ystad, Sweden.
In 2008, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a stunning study of ten patients who all experienced significant improvement in their Meniere’s condition following non-surgical upper cervical corrective care. In fact most had a complete recovery. All patients had their neck examined and x-rayed, revealing misalignment of the upper two bones (atlas and axis, or C1-C2 vertebrae). The misalignments were causing interference to normal nervous system function.
Even more stunning were the results of a research study, published in the same journal with 60 cases of chronic vertigo. 100% of cases either improved or completely reversed their condition. 56 of the patients recalled a history of trauma, but all had a neck imbalance, which was treated by precision upper cervical correction.
All participants had been diagnosed by their physicians with various forms of vertigo, including Meniere’s, positional vertigo and migraine associated vertigo (Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Res. Nov. 8, 2006 Sixty Patients With Chronic Vertigo Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxation: A Retrospective Analysis. Dr. Erin Elster)
As supportive evidence piles up, it’s clear that anybody who suffers from Meniere’s or any form of dizziness, vertigo or migraines should be examined by an upper cervical specialist. Dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus can have dozens of possible causes. In my experience chronic infection can also be a major cause of these symptoms, likely due to mild inflammation in the brain that is not revealed by diagnostic imaging or laboratory tests. An entire article is devoted to this subject, with regards to headaches (one does not have to have headaches to benefit from reading it; it may pertain to dizziness and tinnitus too).
I am proud to have modeled my treatment approach after the methods of Paul Nogier, M.D. (1908-1996), the famous, award-winning neurologist, researcher, professor, and "father" of auricular therapy (ear acupuncture microsystem). Dr. Nogier was a conventionally trained neurologist, who was trained in acupuncture, homeopathy, and manual medicine (European term for spinal treatments, similar to chiropractic).
Click HERE to Learn About Upper Neck (Atlas Orthogonal) Treatment
- Dr. Donald Liebell
"For the first time in two years
I was able to celebrate the
holidays season without any
drama of vertigo attacks!"
In 2010 I was diagnosed at the age of 53 with Meniere's disease by an ear, nose, and throat specialist. I was also told there is no surgery or drug available to cure this condition and to accept it and live with the limitations. My chiropractor had also diagnosed me with BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) and I was devastated. I love to drive, work in my garden, assist my husband in house repairs, and do aquatic exercise. My daughter is a massage therapist working for chiropractor and through CranioSacral, deep tissue massage, and traditional chiropractic adjustments to my neck I regained some independence and privileges. I hit plateau. My daughter had found Dr. Liebell during an internet search and convinced me to make an appointment to see him. I've been coming twice a week for a couple of months now, and for the first time in two years I was able to celebrate the holidays season without any drama of vertigo attacks!! I am very grateful to Dr. Liebell and his staff for his nurturing treatments. I highly recommend it!!!
G. Nazario 12/2012
"Danish researchers have concluded that electro-acupuncture shows some promising effects on tinnitus... The results of the study showed that tinnitus occurrence and loudness were significantly decreased after treatment in the EA group, . Quality of life was improved after treatment and at one-month follow-up in both the MA and EA groups.
The Journal of Chinese Medicine
Feb 2011 i95 p72(1)
"Through the auriculotherapy represents a therapeutic method principally used for migraine or pain treatment, this technique can also be used in tinnitus treatment and in quite large number of cases helps to tolerate this pathology. "
Raphael Nogier, M.D.,
The Liebell Clinic: 477 Viking Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (757) 631-9799 www.LiebellClinic.com