Objective: To document clinical changes after a course of chiropractic care in a geriatric patient with vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
Clinical features: A 75-year-old woman with a longstanding history of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss experienced an intensified progression of these symptoms 5 weeks before seeking chiropractic care. Radiographs revealed a C3 retrolisthesis with moderate degenerative changes C4-C7. Significant decreases in audiologic function were evident, and the RAND 36 Health Survey revealed subjective distress.
Intervention and outcome: The patient received upper cervical-specific chiropractic care. Paraspinal bilateral skin temperature differential analysis was used to determine when an upper cervical adjustment was to be administered. Radiographic analysis was used to determine the specific characteristics of the misalignment in the upper cervical spine. Through the course of care, the patient's symptoms were alleviated, structural and functional improvements were evident through radiographic examination, and audiologic function improved.
Conclusion: The clinical progress documented in this report suggests that upper cervical manipulation may benefit patients who have tinnitus and hearing loss.