In the years I’ve spent studying the cervical spine, I’ve seen thousands of x-rays. Having looked at series after series of C-spine images, empirical correlations can be made as trends and recurring themes begin to develop.
One such correlation is the angle of the atlas plane in patients with symptoms of unexplained unilateral hearing loss and certain forms of vertigo.
The x-ray sample above is a near-perfect side view of the neck. The red line represents a fairly normal atlas plane line (APL) as it sits slightly elevated. The yellow line represents an abnormal APL and is considered to be too low when it translates downward into this range.
Approximately 80% of patients who’ve visited my office with both of these symptoms present have demonstrated low APL measurements. Click here to see two examples of low APLs in patients previously diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease.
But here’s where it gets interesting… In many of these cases, correction of the atlas misalignment actually reduced the severity of these symptoms, improved quality of life, and restored hope to these patients.
Please note that this measurement is non-diagnostic because not everyone whose APL is this low actually suffers from hearing impairment or vertigo. My observations are admittedly speculative. While there are many different forms of vertigo, and a variety of reasons why someone can experience hearing impairment, Upper Cervical Care is worth consideration.
St Louis area residents are invited to click here to request an evaluation.