I get dizziness due to out of C1. What should I do?

Q. Chiropractic session is not helping my dizziness due to C1 dislocation. Why?

Answered by
James F. Geiselman
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 10, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jun 23, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am struggling with dizziness due to C1 being out. My chiropractic sessions are not helping. My chiropractor does not hold the C1 itself, but just my head and cracks. Is what he is doing wrong? Should not he grab the out of place bone and crack it?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have reviewed your question. I am sorry you are experiencing back pain and dizziness. Believe it or not, 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life. I do have several questions before I can fully answer your question. How do you know C1 is your issue and how do you know it is out? Have you had any other diagnostic tests to explain your dizziness? Any CT (computed tomography) scans, MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), etc? When did the dizziness start? Have you tried any exercises for this issue? Answers to these questions would be very helpful. Since I do not have the answers to the above questions, I can only say this. Chiropractors are taught to examine the whole spine and evaluate the whole body, symptoms and all. If your chiropractor is not adjusting C1 like you want him to, it probably means that he is finding something else that he believes may be more of an issue for you. With that being said, it is ultimately your decision as to whether or not you continue to see this chiropractor. Without answers to the questions above and without reviewing the chiropractor’s notes, it does not sound like he/she is doing anything wrong by not grabbing the out of place bone and cracking it. I would always encourage my patients to get a second opinion if they wanted. I hope this helps.

Thank you doctor,

Actually, I have been told by another chiropractor that my C1 is out of alignment, which is causing these issues. I had one session with the doctor then had to travel. The doctor I go to now has mentioned the same thing, but with his adjustments, I see no improvements, unfortunately, as the previous doctor adjusted the C1, not this one. I have had no scans yet, my chiropractor did not require them. I have no pain to be honest but the dizziness is harsh. It started a year ago from the moment I started working an office job spending nine hours a day on the computer. The reason I mentioned he might be doing something wrong, is because I felt a lot more of an improvement from the first chiro in one session. When I asked this chiro about grabbing the neck, he mentioned it does not matter and chiros do not grab the bone, they just stabilize the neck. Is that true?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Simply based on your history you just provided, I have a high level of confidence in saying that the main issue is not really C1, but it is your job. Many people who spend hours at a computer or desk job experience head and neck issues including dizziness and even migraines. Most of the time, people start to experience them early to mid afternoon and they progressively get worse as the day continues. I would recommend two things. All chiropractors, even though we are taught essentially the same material, still adjust differently. It may be that you simply need to go to a new chiropractor. Not because the current guy does anything wrong, it is just some chiropractors have the special touch and patients seem to respond better. This is where experience plays a key role. You cannot teach it. I know that sounds bad, but think of a professional ballplayer. A lot of kids go through sports, but the ones that have it are really successful. The same thing can be said with adjusting. All chiropractors passed all of their board exams and were licensed, but some really have it. Patients simply love their adjusting skills and keep coming back. This may or may not be the case with your current guy, but based on how your question reasons, it seems like the first guy really had it. The second thing, I would do is actually a two part answer. I would first take hourly breaks. Just take a few minutes to step away from your computer so that you can stretch your neck and help the muscles relax. While C1 and even C2 for that matter are probably out of place, it is most likely due to the muscles tightening up as you progress throughout the day. The other part of this is to consider doing some home exercises. You can do a quick google search for neck stretches or neck exercises for desk jobs. Your current chiropractor (or any chiropractor for that matter), should be able to help you with this request as well. Rest assured, it does not sound like this chiropractor is doing anything wrong. It just sounds like you responded better to the other chiropractors adjustment. I hope this helps.

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