Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Could Neck Pain Cause Vertigo

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What Could Be The Potential Culprit In A Case Like This

is a common companion as one begins to age, affecting more Canadians than every other form of arthritis combined. Arthritis is an umbrella term for inflammation of the joints with many other sub-classes of arthritis falling under that term. According to the 2009 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada, it was determined that about 10% of Canadians over the age of 15 battle some form of osteoarthritis. Out of those diagnosed with general arthritis, 37% reported experiencing osteoarthritis specifically, with rates rising in direct relation to age amongst other risk factors.

Overview Of Physical Therapy And Manual Manipulation

To put things briefly:

  • Physical therapy and manual manipulation are extremely effective in reducing cervicogenic headaches and dizziness
  • These treatment techniques provide long-term results with continued use.
  • While many types of physical therapy provide immediate relief, the biggest improvement is seen a few months after the treatment


Here at Cellaxys, we provide treatment options that could help you avoid surgical intervention if the problem persists.

Mesenchymal Stem cell and Platelet Rich Plasma treatments are most effective in combination with physical therapy.

Neck Problems Related To Dizziness

Its also possible to experience dizziness related to the cervical spine, even if you dont have neck pain.

When there are joint and muscular impairments in the neck, especially in the upper cervical spine, this can cause altered proprioceptive input, Kucinic says. This, in turn, can cause dizziness.

Cervical dysfunction, whether related to restricted upper cervical mechanics or increased tone in the cervical musculature, can lead to dizziness and/or a sense of imbalance. According to the Vestibular Disorder Association, the majority of patients with only treating the neck problems. 

Altered Cervical Joint Position And Movement Sense Static And Dynamic Balance And Ocular Mobility And Coordination Should Become An Essential Part Of The Routine Assessment Of Those With Traumatic Neck Pain

Dr. Julia Treleaven, Ph.D., is a member of the Neck Pain and Whiplash Research Group, Division of Physiotherapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia. She has also written numerous papers on the problems of impaired function in the cervical neck. The paper cited at the top of this article is one that she co-authored.

In the July 2017 edition of The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy she wrote:

There is considerable evidence to support the importance of cervical afferent dysfunction in the development of dizziness, unsteadiness, visual disturbances, altered balance, and altered eye and head movement control following neck trauma, especially in those with persistent symptoms.

However, there are other possible causes for these symptoms, and secondary adaptive changes should also be considered in the differential diagnosis.

Understanding the nature of these symptoms and differential diagnoses of their potential origin is important for rehabilitation. In addition to symptoms, the evaluation of potential impairments and coordination) should become an essential part of the routine assessment of those with traumatic neck pain, including those with concomitant injuries such as and vestibular or visual pathology or deficits.

Treatments For Cervical Spine Realignment Restoring The Curve Without Surgery

The SCM Muscle of the Neck

When we start looking at the most recent research papers surrounding treatments for cervical spine realignment, we often find ourselves reading a lot of new research on cervical spine surgery procedures. Non-surgical treatments for cervical spine realignment are, for the most part, fewer and far between. There is a rush in medicine to surgically correct cervical spine abnormalities including the loss of the natural cervical spine curve. In our office, we rush more to non-surgical applications to help the patient with cervical spine instability and abnormal curvature of the spine. But what if you were told surgery should be strongly considered?

A February 2017 study in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine investigated the immediate and long-term effects of a 1-year multimodal program, with the addition of cervical lordosis restoration and anterior head translation correction, on the severity of dizziness, disability, cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility , and cervical pain in patients with cervicogenic dizziness.

Patients were divided into two groups, both groups received therapy and exercise programs, one group received a cervical neck traction device.  At 10 weeks, the group analysis showed equal improvements in dizziness outcome measures, pain intensity, and head repositioning accuracy, the severity of dizziness, dizziness frequency, and neck pain.

Our Treatments For Cervical Instability And Related Challenges Of Visionregenerative Medicine Injections

Part of our treatment program is a focus on cervical spine ligaments. The ligaments are the strong connective tissue that holds the vertebrae in place. When you have a slipped disc, a pinched nerve, a herniated disc or nerve, the underlying problem is that the vertebrae are compressing these structures and causing pain and possible neurologic type symptoms. When the cervical spine instability is great enough or even focused enough on a certain neck segment, it can also cause compression on the arteries and veins that travel through and around the cervical vertebrae.

Prolotherapy is an injection technique that stimulates the repair of unstable, torn, or damaged ligaments. In 2014, we published a comprehensive review of the problems related to weakened damaged cervical neck ligaments in The Open Orthopaedics Journal. We are honored that this research has been used in at least 6 other medical research papers by different authors exploring our treatments and findings and cited, according to Google Scholar, in more than 40 articles. In this research, we suggested that:

  • In the upper cervical spine , this can cause symptoms such as nerve and tendon irritation and vertebrobasilar insufficiency with associated vertigo, tinnitus, dizziness, facial pain, arm pain, migraine headaches, and vision problems.

An introduction to the treatment is best observed in the video below. A patient with cervical neck instability is treated with Prolotherapy using a Digital Motion X-ray machine.

Vertigo And Neck Pain

Vertigo and neck pain can be related symptomatic patterns in many patients and can come from 2 primary source processes, with other possibilities occurring in rare instances. Vertigo is a scary symptom to experience and can force any patient to seek emergency care at a local hospital when it first strikes. In fact, many patients feel as if they have some serious health issue when they are stricken with sudden acute vertigo. I mirror this terrifying experience in my own symptomatic history.

The worst part about suffering from vertigo, in relation to neck ache, is that the association often cannot be proven, but only speculated upon. This is because research is rather lacking in this field, with only a few physicians specializing in upper cervical conditions that cause the types of dizziness, headaches, surging, nausea and neurological expressions that typically embody these patient profiles.

This report focuses on helping patients to better understand the symptoms of neck pain and vertigo. We will examine the 2 primary causes of both expressions, as well as touch on the other possible origins in select patient circumstances. In this commentary, I will also share aspects of my own frightening vertigo experiences.

Back In 1998 The Connection Between Cervical Neck Pain And Dizziness Was Not Only Not Understood But It Was Rarely Studied Doctors Began To Study The Cervical Spine As A Cause Of Dizziness

When we started our regenerative medicine practice back in 1993, one of the phenomena we studied in neck pain patients was, why did they have dizziness. So for us, treating the neck for problems of dizziness, balance, healing problems, is not a new phenomenon. But at the time was certainly something debated. Does neck instability cause dizziness?

When To Seek Medical Care For Neck Pain And Dizziness

With any unexplained or persisting neck pain or dizziness, consult with a health care professional. This is essential to determine whether the symptoms are harmless and temporary or serious and threatening.

You can often manage common causes of harmless neck pain and dizziness — including neck , viral infections of the mouth and throat, and minor — with home remedies and rehydration. You can use analgesics, such as , rest, topical analgesics, and heat applications for minor pain.

How Cervicogenic Dizziness Is Diagnosed

As there is no single test for cervicogenic dizziness, the diagnosis is considered to be a diagnosis of exclusion. Therefore, a thorough history and medical evaluation are needed because the symptoms are similar to other causes of dizziness. A thorough assessment of the neck is also important.

Healthcare providers need to rule out other conditions that can cause dizziness, including medical conditions , medications, neurological conditions , or vestibular disorders . Clinical or laboratory tests can be used to test the peripheral and central vestibular systems. All test results need to be compared with the patients history and presenting symptoms to determine if they are connected.

Cervicogenic dizziness often occurs as a result of a neck injury, such as a whiplash, or head injury, such as concussion, which can also injure the brain or inner ear. Healthcare providers must determine which clinical, laboratory, or imaging tests are needed to determine the diagnosis. Clinicians do these tests to determine if the dizziness is caused by injuries to the vestibular system, brain, or neck . This is a difficult process that can take time and may involve seeking the advice of more than one provider, especially if the person is dealing with more than one diagnosis.

Cervicogenic dizziness is thought to result from a sensory mismatch between somatosensory information , and input from the eyes and inner ear .

Stepwise Process For Diagnosing Cervicogenic Dizziness

Step 1: Patient history

In order to determine whether a patient potentially has CGD, it is essential to clarify the symptoms and nature of onset. For CGD to be considered, the patient should have a history of neck pathology and also experience dizziness that has a close temporal relationship with the onset of cervical spine symptoms. Cervicogenic dizziness should not be considered if the patient does not have neck pain. The neck pain can occur at rest, with movement, or with palpation. Symptoms caused by CGD should be exacerbated by movements that elicit neck pain and should subside with interventions that alleviate neck pain.

It is imperative to obtain a thorough patient history as the first step in the diagnostic process in order to identify red flags, to begin ruling out competing pathologies, and to prioritize pathologies that best fit the description of the onset, signs, and symptoms. Table  details the typical clinical presentations of CGD and the pathologies that can present with similar symptoms. Important information to seek for patients with both dizziness and neck pain includes presence of cardiovascular risk factors, history of migraines, symptoms of tinnitus or aural fullness, oscillopsia, and symptoms exacerbated by exertion, positional changes, busy environments, or specific activities.

Can Neck Pain Cause Dizziness

Many people experience neck pain and dizziness at the same time. Sometimes this is referred to as cervical vertigo or cervicogenic dizziness. This dizziness may come and go or occur with motion of the cervical spine , and it can involve unsteadiness, light-headedness, blurry vision, ringing in ears, nausea, headaches, and/or other troubling symptoms. Here are a few possible ways that a neck problem may contribute to dizziness.

Besides neck pain, whiplash can cause other symptoms, such as dizziness. Watch: Whiplash Video

Treatment For Cervicogenic Dizziness

Neck Pain and Feeling Dizzy: Cervicogenic/Cervical Vertigo

The majority of patients with cervicogenic dizziness improve with appropriate neck treatment. Unfortunately neck massages alone rarely work in resolving the dizziness with the neck pain.  Several studies have reported that approximately 75 percent of patients improve with conservative treatment of the neck, such as gentle mobilizations, exercises, and instruction in proper posture and neck positioning. For other patients, treatment requires both neck treatment and vestibular therapy. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises must be customized to address the problems found on the evaluation and may include eye exercises, balance exercises, walking, or graded exposure to neck movements or environments that make patients dizzy.

What Does Neck Pain With Dizziness Feel Like

While dizziness typically has a rapid onset, neck pain may develop either gradually or quickly. Many people with neck pain accompanied by dizziness experience one or more of the following:

  • Dull ache or general soreness in the neck, which may also go into the shoulder or up into the head
  • Sharp or electric-like pain or tingling that may come and go, possibly radiating down into the arm and/or hand
  • Unsteadiness or imbalance when trying to walk, stand, and/or go up or down steps
  • Light-headedness or a feeling of the head floating or disconnected from the body
  • Feeling faint or suddenly sleepy, such as about to lose consciousness
  • Visual disturbances or blurry vision in one or both eyes
  • Pressure or fullness felt in one or both ears
  • Tenderness in the neck, shoulders, and/or head, which may worsen when pressed
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck, such as from a sore or stiff neck

Some cases of neck pain and dizziness may be made worse during certain movements, such as:

  • Rotating the head to the side
  • Standing up, especially quickly

See Home Remedies for Neck Pain and Dizziness

Some people with severe or recurring dizziness may not even notice the associated neck pain unless asked about it. Other people may be more bothered by the neck painwhich could be sharp and/or include electric-like pain radiating down into the armand only occasionally experience dizziness.

Dizziness Headaches And Neck Pain Come Together Is It A Pinched Nerve

Halfway between 2000 and today, a 2009 study appeared in the Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. Here medical university researchers in Tunisia wanted to examine balance disorders in chronic neck pain patients suffering from vertigo and balance instability.

Ninety-two patients having suffered from chronic neck pain for at least 3 months were enrolled in the present study. Patients with a history of neck trauma or ear, nose, and throat, ophthalmological or neurological abnormalities were excluded so as to be able to focus on cervical instability as the cause.

The patients were divided into three groups:

  • a group of 32 patients with neck pain and vertigo
  • a group of 30 patients with chronic neck pain but no vertigo
  • and a group of 30 healthy controls.

Findings in the groups

  • Osteoarthritis was found in 75% of the group of 32 patients with neck pain and vertigo .
  • Osteoarthritis was found in 70% of the subjects with chronic neck pain but no vertigo .
  • Neck-related headaches were more frequently in patients with neck pain and vertigo
  • Restricted neck movement was more frequent in patients with neck pain and vertigo.
  • Balance abnormalities were found more frequently in patients with neck pain and vertigo.

Symptoms Of Cervicogenic Dizziness

Those diagnosed with cervicogenic dizziness often give similar symptomologies. They describe dizziness that gets worse when they move their head. They also hurt, especially after keeping their neck in a single position for an extended time.

The dizziness typically comes after the onset of the neck pain, and can also bring on mild to moderately severe headaches. The dizziness usually is proportional to the pain. This means as the pain decreases, so does the dizziness.

Dizziness symptoms can last mere moments or far longer.

The neck pain and dizziness caused by cervicogenic dizziness can also result in imbalance. This is often increased by sudden movements.

Development Of Neck Pain And Dizziness

While neck pain or a problem within the neck has not been scientifically verified as a cause of dizziness, it is commonly reported by patients and clinicians. Some potential ways that dizziness may occur as a result of a painful problem in the neck include:

  • Neural problem, such as damage to a proprioceptor in the neck
  • Vascular compression or narrowing, such as to the vertebral artery that supplies blood to the brain

Other causes of neck pain and dizziness occurring together are also possible, but more research and/or better diagnostic tests are needed to determine if dizziness can truly stem from an issue in the neck.-

What Can You Do About Cgd Or Cgh

The most important question to ask yourself is: what can you do about it? Luckily, there are a number of ways to approach this problem. As with many pain disorders, solutions in regards to cervicogenic dizziness and cervicogenic headache may start with lifestyle changes. In particular, your posture and your activity level will affect your symptoms.

If youre suffering from moderate to high levels of dizziness or headaches, then it might make sense to explore treatment options that will produce more immediate results.

Physical therapy has been proven to be very effective in long-term treatment of both cervicogenic headache and cervicogenic dizziness. However, physical therapy will not produce overnight results, but will allow patients to reduce their symptoms over a period of time. Massage therapy may be used in combination to reduce symptoms.

For those who are suffering from severe headaches or dizziness even more immediate treatment options may be needed.

In those cases your physician may prescribe a medication regimen or refer you for a surgical consultation. However, surgical intervention rarely provides long-term benefits. In fact, most surgeries only offer temporary pain relief.

Lets explore each available option in more detail.

Lifestyle Changes

One of the most important things that you should monitor in your daily activities is your posture.

Luckily, there are several methods you could use to fix your posture.

Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Manipulation

Cervicogenic Dizziness Could Your Dizziness Be Coming From Your Neck

Have you ever experienced dizziness that seems to be related to your neck? If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as cervicogenic dizziness. This blog will discuss the definition of cervicogenic dizziness, associated symptoms, how physical therapy can help, and expectations for recovery.

I Understand There Isn’t A Magic Wand To Regenerate The Bone I Have Already Lost But Is There Anything I Can Use To Reduce The Pain

An herbal helper to consider is known as Arnica montana, a plant that hails from Europe, Siberia, and the northwestern United States. A study on osteoarthritis of the hands was conducted in 2006 and compared the use of ibuprofen gel 5% against Absolüt Arnica, a product created from the plant. The two were comparable for the reduction of pain and stiffness, improvement in function, and few adverse reactions. Another study conducted in 2002 demonstrated an improvement in the WOMAC scores of the participants.

What Are Risk Factors Of Osteoarthritis

A Stiff Neck & A Weak Stomach: How Neck Pain Can Cause ...

  • Age. As discussed, aging plays a large role due to the inevitable decline in muscle strength and the rate of turnover of bone.
  • Sex. Women are more prone to develop certain types of osteoarthritis such as in the hip and knee, but men tend to be more prone to developing the condition in the cervical region.
  • Obesity. The added weight places increased stress on the joint spaces, leading to accelerated degeneration. This also seems to hold true for osteoarthritis of the neck, although the association is not as strong as that with the hip or knees. Obese individuals were also more likely to report more severe pain and disability.

Common Causes For Dizziness

While dizziness can be caused by various factors, it can occur when the vestibular system which controls balance and spatial orientation becomes injured or damaged. There are a few different cases when this may occur.

One of the more common conditions of vestibular dysfunction is a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo . BPPV is when small crystals of calcium carbonate within one of the organs of the inner ear becomes detached and moves into another part of the inner ear. This dizziness usually lasts for less than a minute with positional movements such as bending, looking up, rolling over in bed or moving from a lying to sitting or sitting to lying position. If you experience an acute onset of symptoms including dizziness, nausea or vomiting, imbalance and visual challenges, this can be caused by vestibular neuritis. It may follow an upper respiratory infection or a gastrointestinal tract infection.

Lastly, if you experience symptoms that are similar to neuritis, it also can involve hearing loss and tinnitus due to a condition called vestibular labyrinthitis.

Less common types of dizziness can be caused by:

Other problems that can trigger dizziness are Menieres disease and .

Head And Neck Anatomy For Balance

For the body to maintain balance, it relies on 3 sensory subsystems:

  • The vestibular system, located primarily within the inner ear, detects motion and acceleration. It also constantly interacts with the brain and to adjust the body accordingly to maintain balance and posture.
  • The visual system gathers information from the eyes regarding the bodys relation to its surroundings.
  • The proprioceptive system is comprised of proprioceptors in the muscles and joints throughout the body, which send information to the brain via the spinal cord about their relative positioning. The is densely populated with proprioceptors. In particular, the upper cervical spines proprioceptors are thought to play a key role in helping the head and eyes stay balanced.,

The brain is constantly comparing information from all three of these subsystems to maintain balance. In theory, if any of these subsystems sense a problem or relays faulty information, it could lead to dizziness.,

In addition to the spinal cord, many critical nerves and blood vessels travel through the neckconnecting the head with the rest of the body and playing an important role in balance.

Causes Of Cervical Vertigo

There are a number of potential causes of cervical vertigo, though this condition is still being researched. Blockage of arteries in the neck from hardening or tearing of these arteries are causes. The dizziness is caused in these cases by a disruption of blood flow to the inner ear or to a lower brain region called the brain stem. , surgery, and trauma to the neck can also block blood flow to these important regions, resulting in this type of vertigo.

Cervical spondylosis may be another potential cause of neck-related dizziness. This condition causes your vertebrae and neck disks to wear and tear over time. This is called degeneration, and it can put pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves and block blood flow to the brain and inner ear. A slipped disk alone can do the same thing without any spondylosis.

The muscles and joints in your neck have receptors that send signals about head movement and orientation to the brain and vestibular apparatus or parts of the inner ear responsible for balance. This system also works with a larger network in the body to maintain balance and muscle coordination. When this system works improperly, receptors cant communicate to the brain and cause dizziness and other sensory dysfunctions.

Treating cervical vertigo depends on treating the underlying cause. If youre experiencing neck pain or have a degenerative neck disease, follow your medical treatment plan to decrease vertigo symptoms.

Do You Have Cervicogenic Dizziness

Cervicogenic dizziness is a rare condition that is caused by a particular problem in the upper spine and neck areas, such as poor posture, natural wear-and-tear associated with age, or sustained strain such as weightlifting or other exercise activities. The dizziness is often accompanied by neck pain and headaches.

To diagnose CGD your doctor will first rule out other causes of neck pain and dizziness. Basically, cervicogenic dizziness is diagnosed by a method of exclusion:

  • There is an evident problem in the neck area
  • Normal imaging from X-Ray or other imaging technologies
  • No other preexisting conditions can explain the dizziness

Should you consult to your physician with suspicion of having CGD, they would follow a similar thought process:

  • Do you have neck pain? As CGD is often associated with neck pain, the diagnosis is usually ruled out if you do not feel any discomfort in the neck, besides stiffness.
  • Do you have a history of neck pathology? Cervical dizziness rarely surfaces as a sudden, overnight condition. Your doctor will first look for is clues regarding previous neck problems in your medical history. While researching your medical records, the physician will also look for other pathological disorders that could explain the dizziness.
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