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BPPV: Why do I get Dizzy? (They say I have rocks in my head)

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 19, 2018
Village Family Clinic in Allamuchy, NJ
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Benign – it is not life-threatening
  • Paroxysmal – it comes in sudden, brief spells
  • Positional – it gets triggered by certain head positions or movements
  • Vertigo – a false sense of rotational movement

BPPV is a mechanical problem in the inner ear. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is probably the most common cause of vestibular vertigo accounting for approximately 20–30% of diagnoses of vertigo. It occurs when some of the calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) that are normally embedded in gel in another part of the inner ear dislodge and fall into one of the three canals of the inner ear.

If enough of these particles accumulate in one of the canals they can disrupt the normal flow of the fluid in the canal. This will cause the inner ear to send abnormal signals to the brain causing certain head motions to trigger a sense of Vertigo/Dizziness. The majority of cases occur for no apparent reason, with many people describing that they simply went to get out of bed one morning and the room started to spin.

The sense of dizziness or vertigo from BPPV usually lasts less than 1 minute. It is usually brought on by particular head motions such as looking upward or downward or to one side. Such as looking up to a high shelf, shampooing your hair, bending down to put on shoes or socks or rolling from one side to the other in bed.

Between vertigo spells some people are usually symptom-free, while others feel a mild sense of imbalance or disequilibrium.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

Normal medical imaging (e.g. an MRI) is not effective in diagnosing BPPV, because it does not show the crystals that have moved into the canals. When someone with BPPV has their head moved into a position that dislodges the crystals an error signal causes the eyes to move in a very specific pattern, called “nystagmus”.

The inner ears and the eye muscles are what normally allow us to stay focused on our environment while the head is moving. Since the dislodged crystals cause abnormal information to be sent to the brain, the person’s nervous system thinks they are moving when they’re not. It mistakenly causes the eyes to move, which makes it look like the room is spinning. Tests such as Dix-

Hallpike or Roll Tests involve moving the head into specific orientations. This causes movement of the dislodged particles triggering the vertigo and allows the clinician to look for specific eye movements that can help to specify which ear and canal has the problem.

HOW IS IT TREATED?

Though many people are given medication for BPPV, there is no evidence to support its use in treatment of this condition. In extremely rare circumstances, surgical options are considered. However, fortunately, in the vast majority of cases, BPPV can be corrected mechanically via Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers. Many studies have been done into the effectiveness of treatment maneuvers for BPPV, with results showing rates of resolution well into the 90% range by 1-3 treatments.

Symptoms not associated with BPPV!

It is important to know that BPPV will NOT give you constant dizziness that is unaffected by movement or a change in position. It will NOT affect your hearing or produce fainting, headache or neurological symptoms such as numbness, “pins and needles,” trouble speaking or trouble coordinating your movements. If you have any of these additional symptoms, tell your healthcare provider immediately.

BPPV is a common problem, and will more then likely be seen more and more as our population ages. The impact can range from a mild annoyance to a highly debilitating condition, and can affect function, safety and fall risk.

If you have any questions regarding this condition and would like more information contact Village Family Clinic or please feel free to ask one of our staff members or clinicians,.

The Importance of Office Ergonomics

Joseph Coupal - Monday, April 16, 2018

By Dr. Tyler J. Carlock, D.C. 

Village Family Clinic in Allamuchy, NJ

There is a new saying going around that “sitting is the new smoking” and it is a problem that is affecting millions of Americans. How many of us sit all day for our 9-5 job? The vast majority of America is sitting more than 75% of the day. We wake up, drive to work, sit for 8 hours, drive back from work, then sit in front of the television in the same crunched posture. We, as Americans, are in a sitting epidemic. Human beings were not meant to sit this long. We develop our natural curvature of the spine as infants in three separate phases: keeping our heads up, crawling, and standing. The posture of sitting puts the most ligamentous stress on the spine, which over time will begin to reverse the normal curvatures of the spine. This will increase pain, tightness, and a slew of other symptoms including sciatica and potential gastrointestinal distress. Another big problem in today’s society is what I would like to call “text neck.” Everyone always has their head down looking at their smart phone now more than ever. This is another disastrous posture for your neck and natural curvature of the cervical spine. It can lead to headaches and tight muscles as well as arm pain, shoulder pain, and pinched nerves. Now I know what you are thinking, “Listen Doc, I know all of this is bad, but what can I do about it?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. Let me raise awareness of correct posture – sitting up straight towards the edge of your chair, head up, shoulders back, and feet shoulder width apart flat on the floor. If you are sitting all day for your job, obtain an ergonomically correct chair or a lumbar support pillow to help out your lower back. Also, it is recommended to stand and take a walk/stretch once per hour of sitting. Place your computer screen at eye level to reduce bending your neck down. Standing desks are also a positive. The most important advice is just get up and move! Movement is life and the research states that only 30 minutes of exercise a day has countless benefits such as increased mood, decreased weight, increased energy, and overall better outlook on life. Remember, correcting your posture with proper ergonomics will take some effort but it will be worth it. Visiting a chiropractor to ensure proper spinal health and movement is also an integral part of improving posture and increasing your quality of life – if you book an appointment with us and tell us you read this article – we will give you a free digital posture analysis!

Dr. Carlock is a practicing chiropractor at Village Family Clinic in Hackettstown, NJ. We are a multi-disciplinary facility that offers chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, and pain management.

Call us at (908) 813-8200 for any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Acupuncture's Increasing Role in American Pain Management

Darren Kincaid - Thursday, April 05, 2018

Village Family Clinic in Allamuchy, NThe use of acupuncture as a treatment for pain is systematically increasing across America. We are proud to inform you that our chiropractic treatment team here at Village Family Clinic has provided acupuncture care services to our Hackettstown, NJ patients for years now and with great success.  Some consider it better than powerful painkillers.  

The Veterans Affairs medical system has utilized acupuncture to treat pain for several years. Some insurance companies cover it and we feel that it is only a matter of time before they all do. Some states currently offer acupuncture to patients who have Medicaid, an insurance program for the less financially fortunate. The states are mainly ones where many people have become sick or died from overdosing on opioid drugs. The opioid crisis is believed to have started with the misuse of painkilling drugs prescribed by doctors.

Many people became addicted to opioid drugs after seeking help to relieve pain. Acupuncture could be a way to help keep some patients from using opioids in the first place. For a long time in the U.S., acupuncture was considered unstudied and unproven. Federal researchers say there is evidence that acupuncture can help some patients deal with some forms of pain. 

Acupuncture has been practiced in China for thousands of years. Acupuncturists put thin metal needles into specific spots in the ears or other parts of the body. They say needles put in these spots restore the flow of energy — called "qi" — through the body. This heals the body and eases pain. In government studies, 1 in 67 U.S. adults say they get acupuncture every year, up from 1 in 91 in 2008. 

American veteran Jeff Harris was one of the first people to ask for acupuncture when veteran’s hospital began to offer it. "I don't like taking pain medication. I don't like the way it makes me feel," he said. Harris also did not want to risk getting addicted to painkilling drugs. Harris began acupuncture two years ago. The 50-year-old Marine Corp veteran said he hurt his back while training in the military in the 1980s. Today, he has pain down his legs and numbness in his feet. Acupuncture "helped settle” his pain." Another veteran, Harry Garcia of Connecticut, tried acupuncture for his back pain after years of using pain medications. Acupuncture “keeps pain down for up to 10 days,” said Garcia.

About ten years ago, the military and Veterans Affairs began using several different ways to treat pain, including acupuncture and yoga. A recent study says now two-thirds of military hospitals and other treatment centers offer acupuncture. While research continues, the willingness of medical insurance companies to pay for acupuncture is growing. California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Rhode Island pay for acupuncture for pain through their Medicaid insurance programs. Massachusetts and Oregon also pay for acupuncture as a treatment for drug abuse.

You may be covered for acupuncture treatment in Hackettstown by Dr. Karen Zuidema or one of our other certified acupuncturists.  We'll be glad to research your insurance coverage and offer our heartfelt advice on how you can begin the path to pain free living. 
Just give us a call!




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Hi I'm Laurel, I'm a patient at the Village Family Clinic. I just want to thank Dr. Fedich and the whole staff for everything they have done for me. My back feels so much better. This machine that I have been using has really helped my back and I just want to thank everybody. Thank you!


Hi! My name Maria and I'm here at the Village Family Clinic. I came for compression for my neck and chiropractic for my back and I'm feeling better. The atmosphere in this clinic is so friendly. They know what they're doing and I would love for people come to this place. They're very friendly, especially my friend Jessica. Fully nice work, everybody fully nice. I wish everybody would come here. Very friendly people in this clinic.


Hi my name is Karen. Back in December, I came to Dr. Fedich because I'd been in a lot of pain with my neck. I had a herniated disk and they introduced me to this Triton machine, which has really been a God send, helping me pull my neck and taking the pain away. I also referred my father and my son because I trust this Doctor so much...he's helped me so much. Now, I'm going to Ashley for massages. I'm just addicted to this place..