by Internet Medical Society

5 things About Cervicogenic Dizziness - Every Therapist Should Know


Does it feel like being dizzy when the neck hurts? Or do some sudden neck movements induce dizziness? Cervicogenics Dizziness is the dizziness caused by neck pain. Cervicogenic Dizziness is the unsteadiness, imbalance, neck pain, and limited cervical range of motion. The patients usually feel nauseous, dizzy, and lightheaded during movement and at rest. Many people experience dizziness and neck pain. The concept of neck pain associated with dizziness became a debate since the 1950s. Ryan and Cope identified a syndrome- cervical vertigo- imbalance and dizziness in people with different neck diagnosis. Cervicogenic dizziness is still controversial as there is no exact diagnostic test to verify the cause of dizziness. For the treatment of the cervicogenic dizziness, you may have to refer to a doctor, but it is most likely that he may refer you to take a medication or may also refer you to a physical therapist. The medications include muscle relaxants, analgesics, or anti-dizziness drugs. Physical therapists can also help in countering the problem, I know many best osteopaths near me who offer the Cervicogenic Dizziness treatment.

What Therapists Should Know About the Cervicogenic Dizziness:


1- Ambiguous Symptoms:

The causes of cervicogenic dizziness are: 

wide and superimposing with other head and neck related issues. It is ambiguous to pinpoint the specific problem by knowing the symptoms of the problem. For example, the possible symptoms of the Cervicogenic Dizziness include:

a- Headache

b- Nausea

c- Neck pain

d- Ear pain

e- Weakness

f- Disbalance

The only symptom that can help the therapist is the dizziness caused by the neck movement.

2- There is no Definite Test for Diagnosis:

There is not a particular test that can diagnose the cervicogenic dizziness the physical therapists have to make sure that the patient has no other problems. For this, the physiotherapists have to consult the doctors to find the problems related to the brain, ear, and neck before starting their treatment.

3- Uncertain Causes:

There can be other problems that can cause dizziness or neck pain, but usually, the therapists avoid other causes. Therefore, consultation with doctors is very crucial. Some of the tests can help to find a precise decision for the diagnosis such as MRI Scan of the neck, X-ray of the cervical spine, vertebral Doppler ultrasound, vertebral angiography, and Magnetic resonance angiography(MRA). The following problems have similar symptoms:

a- Psychogenic vertigo

b- Central vertigo

c- Inner ear problems

d- Benign positional vertigo

4- Basic Assessments at the First Hand:

There are other problems that mimic Cervicogenic dizziness which are acute problems. Therefore, it is crucial for the therapist to first conduct some basic assessments of the patient. For example:

1- Oculomotor Assessment:

It is a kind of assessment in which the eye movement of all aspect is assessed. It assesses the gaze stability while the head is in the movement, smooth eyeball movement when the head pain is still, and the assessment of the eye-head coordination when both are moving. Failing to accomplish the tasks means that the patient will end up feeling dizzy and disbalance in the neck.

2- Optokinetic Assessment:

It is a test to check the movement of eyes following an object in the movement. It is checked if the patient can easily follow the object to the endpoint and back to the starting point or not.

3- Balance Assessment:

The balance assessment is one of the keys to finding whether the patient can maintain the balance in different positions. Many assessment tricks include feet together, feet apart, single-leg stance and tandem stance performed with eyes open and close.


The physiotherapists usually focus on exercises for stretching and improving the extent of neck movement. 

They also lead to manual therapy and cervical proprioception and kinesthesia training. It is inducing the perception of position and movement.   

Vestibular Rehabilitation:

Vestibular Rehabilitation is an exercise-based therapy to help the brain relearn to maintain equilibrium. It also guides the brain about responding to signals coming from visual, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems.

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