Shortly after this relief from deafness, I had a case of heart trouble which was not improving. I examined the spine and found a displaced vertebrae pressing against the nerves which innervate the heart. I adjusted the vertebra and gave immediate relief -- nothing ‘accidental’ or ‘crude’ about this. Then I began to reason that if two diseases, so dissimilar as deafness and heart trouble, came from impingement, a pressure on nerves, were not other diseases due to a similar cause?

D.D. Palmer, The Chiropractors Adjuster. Portland Printing House, Portland, Oregon, 1910

There is no doubt in the mind of at least one of the authors that dysfunction in the joints in the upper thoracic spine can affect the function of the inner ear, presumably by way of its sympathetic innervation.

Bourdillon JF, Day EA, Bookhout MR. Spinal Manipulation. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., Oxford, 1992.

Horsturz und kraniozervikaler ubergang (Sudden deafness and craniocervical junction) Hormann K, Weh L, Fritz W, Borner U Laryngo-Rhino-Otol 68 (1989) 4546-461.

From the abstract:

Morphological alterations of the craniocervical junction as a basilar impression, a ponticulus posterior, an atlas assimilation, an intervertebral narrowing, and spondylosis deformans were found radiologically…

There was a statistically significant reduced mobility in the upper cervical spine in patients suffering from sudden deafness. Especially very high standard deviations in the atlanto-occipital and the atlanto-dental joint are interpreted as hypermobile as well as hypomobile atlas joints. These results indicate a correlation between sudden deafness and functional pathology of the craniocervical junction.

Migraine as a cause of sudden hearing loss. Headache, 1996;36:24-28. Virre ES, Baloh RW.

This review by Drs. Masarsky and Weber in Neurological Fitness, Vol. VI No.1 discusses that about one person in a thousand each year are victims of permanent sudden hearing loss (SHL):

If Drs. Virre and Baloh are correct in their conclusion that SHL can be associated with migraine, the two conditions should share a common neurophypathophysiology. From a chiropractic point of view, VSC involving the cervicothoracic junction could be expected to disturb [the stellate ganglion - associated with migraine] directly, while VSC involving the upper thoracic spine could disturb it indirectly. Recent chiropractic studies have indicated that cervicothoracic adjustments can benefit both pediatric and adult migraine sufferers, lending further support to the migraine-stellate relationship.

Copyright 2004 Koren Publications, Inc. & Tedd Koren, D.C.