Everything You Need to Know About Cervical Dizziness

Cervical dizziness is also sometimes referred to as cervical vertigo. Experts believe that this type of dizziness occurs as a result of neck or cervical spinal issues. One of the main symptoms of this condition includes balance issues or a spinning sensation that comes about when you move your neck. As the neck plays a big part in our balance, any upset in the structure of the neck can cause serious issues.

Cervical Dizziness Causes

There are several possible causes of this condition. It can be due to an underlying issue such as a neck injury. It is classified as a whiplash-associated disorder which is often found with head injuries, head trauma, or after a car crash. Other causes include inflammation or communication problems between the nerves. The condition usually comes on due to a triggering event like an injury.

Another possible cause of cervical dizziness is called cervical spondylosis, a form of arthritis. When you have this condition, the neck disks and vertebrae degenerate over time, resulting in neck pain, stiffness, dizziness, headache, and muscle spasms. Cervical dizziness symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

Cervical Dizziness Symptoms

When experiencing cervical dizziness, you may experience a variety of symptoms and these symptoms may worsen after you sneeze or exercise. Symptoms can include:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Ear ringing or pain
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Loss of balance
  • Lightheadedness
  • Trouble concentrating

Diagnosing Cervical Dizziness

Diagnosing this condition often involves ruling out other issues that could cause similar symptoms, including:

  • Central vertigo due to conditions like tumors, stroke, or multiple sclerosis
  • Vestibular neuronitis and other inner ear diseases
  • Benign positional vertigo
  • Psychogenic vertigo

Next, your doctor will perform a physical examination. This will include having you turn your head to see if you have sporadic eye movement due to the position of your head or neck. Other testing might include:

  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Vertebral angiography
  • Evoked potential testing (measures the pathways in the nervous system)
  • Vertebral Doppler ultrasound
  • Spine x-rays

Treating Cervical Dizziness

To treat cervical dizziness, medical professionals will first determine the underlying cause. Since the underlying cause can differ from person to person, treatment will differ as well.

That said, medications are a common course of treatment. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to reduce dizziness, decrease tightness in your neck, and help with any pain you’re experiencing. Common medications used to treat cervical dizziness include:

  • Muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzaprine and tizanidine
  • Anti-dizziness drugs, such as scopolamine or Antivert
  • Pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or tramadol

Physical therapy may also be part of the treatment process. It can help you to properly stretch your muscles to enhance your neck’s range of motion. This therapy may also aid with improving neck posture and help reduce symptoms. A physical therapist may also recommend using heat compresses to help relax the muscles.

Without treatment, there is the potential for a worsening of your symptoms. Consulting with experienced medical professionals like our team at NYHD Institute of Hearing and Balance ensures you receive treatments that take your unique health concerns into consideration.

Schedule A Consultation

If you are experiencing one or more symptoms of cervical dizziness, seeing a doctor is crucial to diagnosing and treating the condition as soon as possible. Our practitioners at the NYHD Institute for Hearing and Balance have experience with this condition and can walk you through every step of treatment. Don’t hesitate to call our New York City office today at (212) 784-6125 or use our online contact form. We’re here to help you with your hearing and balance concerns.