Have you ever wondered how ballet dancers are able to do multiple pirouettes, spinning round and round on the stage, then stopping and leaping gracefully across the stage, unaffected by dizziness?
The results of a new study show that they resist getting dizzy because they have trained their brains to ignore disconcerting input from the main balance organ, the vestibular system. Researchers suggest that this insight may someday help sufferers of chronic dizziness, which may include people with TMJ-induced vertigo.
Why Ballet Dancers Don’t Get Dizzy
Ballet dancers, it turns out, have reprogrammed their brains through years of practice to deal with the effects of pirouettes. Part of this ability comes from spotting, when ballet dancers reduce the spinning of their head by moving it to focus on just a few points rather than spinning around freely with the body. However, another part of their ability comes from the reprogramming they have done on their brains.
Balance is the ability of our brains to take inputs from various sources and know how we are moving so it can respond appropriately. Our brains use three primary sources of this information, our vision, our muscles’ sense of their own movement and position, and the vestibular system. The vestibular system is a series of fluid-filled tubes in our ears that act like carpenters’ levels to show the position and motion of our head. When these three inputs correspond, the body knows how to respond, but when they don’t, the brain becomes confused and you feel dizzy.
When we spin around, the fluid in our ears gets moving so fast that it can’t just stop the way the rest of your body stops. When the fluid keeps moving, the body is confused because the vestibular system says you’re moving, but nothing else does.
Ballet dancers have trained their brains to ignore contradictory information from their vestibular system. When researchers looked at the brains of ballet dancers, they found that the area responsible for handling input from the vestibular system is smaller than in other people.
How This May Help Vertigo Sufferers with TMJ
TMJ causes vertigo because it puts pressure on the delicate bones that contain the vestibular canals, which can lead to conflicting information from them.
Researchers propose that dizziness might someday be treated by suppressing the region of the brain responsible for the sensation, which would, in theory, also help vertigo sufferers with TMJ. The reality is that the better treatment would be to relieve the pressure on the vestibular canals by treating the TMJ disorder at its source.
Vertigo and TMJ Relief Today.
The good news is that we can help you get relief from many TMJ symptoms today, including vertigo. TMJ treatments can reduce pressure on the vestibular system, leading to a reduction or elimination of vertigo symptoms.
To learn more about TMJ treatment and how it can help you eliminate vertigo, tinnitus, and other TMJ-related problems, please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry in Savannah, Georgia today.