From Meniere’s Disease to Upper Cervical: An Interview With Dr. Kevin Broome

by The Atlas of Life on January 20, 2010

dr. kevin broomeDr. Kevin Broome is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who practices in Anderson, South Carolina. He grew up with a debilitating condition known as Meniere’s disease, which he suffered from into his teenage years until Upper Cervical Chiropractic entered his life.

According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Meniere’s disease is “an abnormality of the inner ear causing a host of symptoms, including vertigo or severe dizziness, tinnitus or a roaring sound in the ears, fluctuating hearing loss, and the sensation of pressure or pain in the affected ear. The disorder usually affects only one ear and is a common cause of hearing loss.”

I’m grateful to Dr. Kevin Broome for taking the time to share his story on The Atlas of Life.

Dr. Harshe: You suffered through Meniere’s disease throughout your childhood. Can you tell us about that?

Dr. Broome:
“To be honest, it’s hard to describe a Meniere’s attack to someone that has never experienced it.  It hits with a force that physically rocks you, the vertigo is so debilitating that your eyes can’t focus on any single object.  You are lost within yourself.  The only option is to fall down so that you “feel” the floor beneath you.  The uncontrollable vomiting induced by the vertigo hits with extreme velocity and completely catches you off guard.  To be honest, its hell on earth, best description I can give you.

My first attack came on Christmas Eve when I was in 5th grade.  It lasted about three hours and after the holidays my mom took me to my pediatrician who said it sounds like Meniere’s disease.  Three years later, the “specialist” finally ruled out all other possibilities and diagnosed me with Meniere’s.

My parents spared no expense in trying to get me well.  They took me to Duke, Vanderbilt, Lahey Clinic in Mass. to be examined by the world renowned Meniere’s specialist.  I was becoming bitter then because I kept thinking to myself, “How do you become a specialist in something if you do not know what causes it and don’t know how to fix it?”

At the prime of my body expressing symptoms, I was missing 90 to 95 days of school each year, being home schooled and having an attack a day, if not multiple.  As a child, the tinnitus and the fluctuating hearing loss was my biggest concern because it stopped me from communicating the way I was used to.  Having Meniere’s bilaterally, there were days that I was legally deaf, couldn’t hear a sound.

I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone.”

Dr. Harshe: Did you ever have any surgeries for your condition?

Dr. Broome: “After listening and exploring all options that were presented, we did elect to have a shunt placed in my right mastoid bone.  I really wish that I had heard of upper cervical care before this surgery. Biggest mistake I have ever made.  I woke up from the surgery with vertigo and have been completely deaf in my right ear ever since.

I still want to go have lunch with the surgeon and have a chat with him.”

Dr. Harshe: When did you first get under upper cervical care? How did it help you?

Dr. Broome: “When I was 14, my mother created and founded a Meniere’s disease support group in Charlotte, NC.  Her intention was to allow me to see others were affected by this disease as well.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember ever going to a meeting because I was too embarrassed.

Dr. Ray Drury had asked my mother to come and speak to the group based on results he was getting in his office.  Reluctantly, my mother let him come and speak, thinking, “What can chiropractic do for Meniere’s?”

If I remember correctly, he had to come and speak twice to the group before my mom made me an appointment.  Doc was the first doctor that told me what my problem was and where it was coming from.  After my first correction, on the way home, my ears got quiet, my hearing returned to around 50%.  I knew then that upper cervical was going to get me well.

At that time, I didn’t understand what re-tracing was, and boy did I ever re-trace.  It took me a few months of healing before we saw any profound results but my senior year in high school I only missed 9 days of school whereas the year before I missed 94.  I was also well enough to play for my high school’s state championship soccer team.

I owe my life as I know it to Doc and his ability to leave his comfort zone and spread the word of the healing potential of upper cervical.”

Dr. Harshe: Which chiropractic school did you go to? Did you always know you were going to be an upper cervical chiropractor, or did you explore your options?

Dr. Broome: “This is a great answer to your question.  I went to undergrad with intentions of going into forensics.  I majored in criminal justice and minored in chemistry.  Towards the end, Doc asked me, “What about chiropractic school?”  It had never entered my mind.  It made sense so I jumped on it.

I chose Sherman mainly because of its location.  I was living in Charlotte, NC at the time and it’s a short drive away.  When I enrolled at Sherman, I thought upper cervical was chiropractic and chiropractic was upper cervical.  I had NO IDEA that anyone was adjusted in a different manner than knee chest!

I remember calling Doc and saying, “What in the world have you sent me to?!?!?” People were having their hips, low back, mid back, everything adjusted.  It was an eye opener for sure!  I learned all the techniques but never doubted what I was going to do.

I was and still am so passionate about the power of upper cervical; my atlas was never adjusted by anyone at Sherman.  To me, its life or death.  My fellow students and I needed the practice in student clinic but no one was going to “practice” on me.  It’s that important.  That may read harsh, but when your symptoms were as bad as mine, you would have made the same decision.”

Dr. Harshe: How has your experience with Meniere’s disease helped you in your own practice?

Dr. Broome: “It completely has.  I can easily sympathize with people and their conditions.  No one understood what I was going through and with many of the conditions and patients that an upper cervical doctor see’s in their offices every day, they too have conditions that not many people understand.  It has helped me relate to my patients about their conditions.

I try and educate my patients that their conditions are a byproduct of an upper cervical subluxation and we do not talk of their symptoms often but when I first meet them, I let them know that I do understand what they are going though, because of my past.

On the other hand, it has made practicing difficult.  Occasionally, about once every two or three years, I will go through a difficult time with my hearing.  Imagine doing what you do every day, in your office and your life and have a difficult time hearing what you need and want to hear.  It is mentally tough to stay focused, but the one thing that continually rings in my head is that, one – I no longer deal with the vertigo and for that I am thankful and two – Dr. Drury always telling me to keep my head in the office!

Regardless of what’s going on in your life, your head needs to be present on a daily basis.  Patients are counting on you every single day.”

Dr. Harshe: Do you have patients with Meniere’s disease? What other conditions have you seen improve with Upper Cervical Chiropractic care?

Dr. Broome: “I have had several patients with Meniere’s and they have responded great.  Some faster than I did and some that took the same healing time as I did.  It is a gift from God to see any patient get well but especially that patient with Meniere’s.

I have seen all types of conditions respond to upper cervical.  Infant seizures gone after one correction, Migraines, Fibromyalgia, ADD/ADHD, Chronic Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, MS, Parkinson’s.

I even had one patient throw away her prescription eye glasses because her eye sight improved so much.

I had a patient in Hickory, NC, where I was practicing that was a quadriplegic after a horse bucking accident.  After his first correction he started showing some signs of improvement.  Moving his fingers, etc.  Dr. Miles, who took over that practice and has continued to see this patient, has kept me up to date on him.  It is absolutely wonderful to hear that this patient is now trying to learn to walk again!!!”

Dr. Harshe: For someone with Meniere’s disease looking for an answer, what words of wisdom can you offer them?

Dr. Broome: “Seek out an upper cervical doctor immediately.  I have been there and done that and none of it works.  Get the upper cervical spine corrected by a trained upper cervical doctor, give your body time and let the healing begin!”

Dr. Harshe: What do you envision the future of Upper Cervical Chiropractic becoming?

Dr. Broome:
“I would like to see upper cervical move itself into a position where infants are checked shortly after birth and stay under care their entire life.  If that happens, quickly people will begin to understand that upper cervical is changing those lives and that the population is stronger, healthier and more connected innately than we have ever been before in history of man.  What a wonderful and glorious day that will be!”