Dizziness can be a little bit complicated. It can be caused by a number of different reasons, but you probably never thought that your neck could be one of them!? Well Cervicogenic vertigo is exactly that, dizziness that is theorised to be caused from dysfunctional or lack of movement in the neck.
20-58% of people who have had head/neck injuries or whiplash will also experience dizziness
How can my neck contribute to dizziness?
Typically this specific type of dizziness is seen in people after an injury to the head and neck such as concussion or whiplash. But that is not always the case, sometimes it is also seen in people with severe muscle spasm in the neck or loss of movement in the neck.
Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive where it is in space. Tricky to understand, but basically think about it as your ability to stay on balance. Proprioceptive receptors in the neck can be disrupted through concussion or whiplash injury, thus relaying incorrect information back to the brain about where the body is, causing the sensation of dizziness or the sensation of being pulled to one side, or the room spinning. Along with the dizziness people with this type of vertigo typically have pain and limited range of motion in the head and neck.
What are the symptoms?
Neck pain and/or loss of motion in the neck
Dizziness, sense of the room moving or spinning, or feeling disconnected from your body
The difference between other types of vertigo and this one are that the dizziness type symptoms you experience are made worse by holding specific positions of the head and neck. Moving the head doesn’t usually cause the symptoms to flare up but keeping the head in a certain position for a longer time does.
This type of vertigo or dizziness that is caused from injury to or lack of movement in the neck typically responds well to chiropractic care and physiotherapy. Using manual therapy such as manipulation, mobilisation, and Active Release Techniques (ART®) to release the muscles and improve range of motion has been shown to help in these cases. Also specific exercises for the neck and exercises to improve proprioception can be beneficial as well.
As with any condition it is important to have a thorough examination to figure out the true cause of the problem. Give us a call today to see if we can help with your problem!