Cervicogenic Dizziness & Vertigo

Cervicogenic Dizziness & Vertigo

Cervicogenic Dizziness & Vertigo

Understanding Dizziness Causes

Cervicogenic dizziness often arises from neck disorders, presenting as imbalance or light-headedness without the spinning typical of vertigo. It contrasts with cervicogenic vertigo, which results in a distinct sensation of spinning, usually accompanied by neck pain and stiffness. Understanding the nuances between them is vital for correct diagnosis and treatment.

Cervicogenic Dizziness Explained

Cervicogenic dizziness manifests as a sensation of wooziness or being off-balance, triggered by neck movement or maintaining a particular posture for extended periods. Unlike cervicogenic vertigo, it does not involve the perception of spinning. Neck pain is a common symptom, and factors like poor posture or muscle imbalances can exacerbate the condition.

Distinguishing Cervicogenic Vertigo

Cervicogenic vertigo stems directly from neck dysfunctions that send false signals to the brain, causing the environment to seem as though it’s spinning. It often correlates with specific neck movements or postures. Pain, stiffness, and limited movement in the neck area are usual accompaniments.

Identifying Dizziness Causes

Pinpointing the causes of cervicogenic dizziness can be challenging due to its symptom overlap with other conditions. Accurate identification relies on a healthcare professional’s expertise in the cervical spine and vestibular matters. The diagnostic process may include a thorough medical history review, physical examinations, and diagnostic tests to craft a tailored treatment approach.

Understanding Vertigo Causes

While the exact causes of cervicogenic vertigo are not always clear, several contributors have been identified:

  • Neck Injuries: Trauma, such as that from car accidents, can impair neck function and lead to vertigo. eg Whiplash
  • Spine Disorders: Conditions like herniated discs might irritate nerves in the neck, inducing dizziness and vertigo.
  • Postural Issues: Chronic poor posture can strain the neck, contributing to these conditions.
  • Muscle Imbalance: An imbalance in neck muscle strength or flexibility can destabilise the cervical spine.
  • Repetitive Strain: Continuous activities, such as extended periods of computer use, can lead to cervicogenic dizziness or vertigo.

Stress and anxiety are also known to amplify symptoms, underscoring the importance of a comprehensive evaluation by healthcare professionals.

Symptoms of Cervicogenic Dizziness and Vertigo

cervicogenic dizziness or vertigo is a common source of dysequilibrium
Cervicogenic Dizziness &Amp; Vertigo Should Be Investigated &Amp; Treated

Cervicogenic dizziness symptoms range from a general feeling of imbalance to specific instances of unsteadiness during motion. Common symptoms include:

  • A vague sense of dizziness
  • Unsteadiness or difficulties with walking and turning the head
  • A feeling of wooziness or floating
  • Neck pain, often localised at the back of the neck
  • Variably intense headaches
  • Stiffness and reduced neck movement
  • Visual disturbances, like focusing difficulties

Cervicogenic vertigo, on the other hand, includes symptoms such as:

  • Spinning sensations, particularly after neck movements
  • Persistent neck pain, usually at the back of the neck
  • Stiffness and limited neck mobility
  • Dull headaches at the skull’s base
  • Balance issues without spinning, often related to neck positioning
  • Visual problems during dizzy spells

Consult a healthcare professional if you experience these symptoms for an accurate diagnosis and advice. Your doctor or physiotherapist are excellent options to assess you further.

Treatment and Management

Addressing underlying neck issues is central to treating both cervicogenic dizziness and vertigo. Treatment options include:

  • Physiotherapy: Exercises and techniques to enhance neck mobility and balance. See Neck treatment.
  • Medications: Prescription of muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Posture Correction: Adopting proper ergonomics to reduce neck strain. See Posture improvement tips.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Avoiding movements that trigger symptoms and practising stress-relief techniques.
  • Medical Interventions: More severe cases may require medications, injections, or surgery.

Education on the condition, identifying personal triggers, and applying self-management strategies are beneficial steps.


Cervicogenic dizziness and vertigo require a specialised approach for effective management. Healthcare providers with expertise in this area can determine the best course of action. A personalised treatment plan, with an emphasis on understanding triggers and managing symptoms, will often yield the best outcomes. If you’re dealing with these symptoms, it’s essential to reach out to a trusted healthcare team for specific guidance and care.

Related Articles

Article by Shane Armfield

Discussing Vertigo & Dizziness Causes

Navigate Your Way to Steady Ground

Battling vertigo or dizziness can make even the simplest tasks feel daunting. These unsettling sensations can disrupt your routine, making it a struggle to walk, drive, or simply stand up without feeling unstable. Recognising the causes behind vertigo and dizziness is the first step towards regaining your balance and resuming life as usual.

Vertigo & Dizziness Information

Our vertigo and dizziness articles on this website discuss the common origins of vertigo and dizziness.

From the dislodging of tiny crystals in your ear that leads to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) to the fluid build-up in Meniere's disease, we cover the spectrum of conditions that might be tipping your world upside down.

We also tackle cervicogenic dizziness—a less known but equally significant cause stemming from neck issues.

Vestibular FAQs

In addition to outlining potential causes, we address frequently asked questions to help you understand the nuances of vertigo and dizziness, their symptoms, how they're diagnosed, and the treatment options available. By equipping you with this knowledge, we hope to empower you to take control of your symptoms.

Read more: Vestibular FAQS

vertigo causes

Vertigo Causes

Vertigo frequently surfaces as a symptom of underlying ear or brain problems. Key triggers include:

Inner Ear Disorders:

BPPV, where ear canal crystals go awry, inducing dizzy spells.

Meniere's Disease:

Characterised by inner ear fluid imbalance, triggering vertigo bouts. read more: Meniere's disease.

Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis:

Inner ear infections that lead to inflammation and dizziness.

Identifying the exact vertigo cause allows health professionals to customise treatment, potentially reducing or resolving the dizzying episodes.

Dizziness Causes

Dizziness arises from a variety of sources, which can be mild or more severe. These include:

Cervicogenic Dizziness:

Often overlooked, this stems from neck problems disrupting sensory communication to the brain. Read more: Cervicogenic dizziness.

Low Blood Pressure:

Sudden drops can result in momentary light-headedness.


Certain medications list dizziness as a potential side effect.

Anxiety or Stress:

Can lead to bouts of dizziness during periods of heightened stress.

Grasping the causes of dizziness is imperative for practitioners to advise and manage symptoms effectively.


Tracing the roots of vertigo and dizziness is intricate. While many causes are benign and manageable, others may hint at more serious underlying conditions. It's crucial to seek professional input. Vestibular specialists, including ENT doctors and vestibular physiotherapists, are here to help you navigate through these choppy waters to find solid ground.

Your Next Step

If vertigo or dizziness is disrupting your life, don't hesitate to book an appointment to assess your vertigo or dizziness. For more information and practical advice on managing the causes of vertigo and dizziness, peruse our Vestibular Physiotherapy section and explore our FAQs.

Ready for a Change?

Make an appointment with us today and take the first step towards a steadier tomorrow.

Related Articles

  1. Cervicogenic Dizziness & Cervical Vertigo - Tips & Treatment: Readers will find detailed explanations about how neck disorders can lead to dizziness and vertigo​​.
  2. Vertigo & Dizziness: This article offers a broad overview of dizziness and vertigo, providing insights into their differences and potential causes​​.
  3. Vestibular Physiotherapy: Balance & Dizziness Solutions: Explore how vestibular physiotherapy can help manage and treat balance issues and dizziness​​.
  4. What Are The Four Types Of Dizziness?: Readers will learn about the four distinct types of dizziness and their respective causes and symptoms​​.
  5. Meniere's Disease: An in-depth look at Meniere's Disease, offering insights into its symptoms, diagnosis, and management​​.
  6. Vestibular Migraine: This page discusses vestibular migraines, highlighting their unique challenges in diagnosis and treatment​​.
  7. Neck Pain: Find comprehensive information on the various causes of neck pain and its relationship to dizziness and vertigo​​.
  8. What Are The Symptoms Of BPPV?: An article detailing the symptoms of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), helping readers to better understand this condition​​.
  9. Vestibular FAQs: Offers answers to frequently asked questions about vertigo and dizziness, enhancing understanding of these conditions​​.
  10. Vertigo Causes & Dizziness Causes - Advice & Managing Tips: Provides information on the various causes of vertigo and dizziness, along with tips for managing these conditions​​.

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

How to Improve Balance

A Physiotherapist's Guide


Improving your balance is not only possible, but it can also be remarkably straightforward. Recent scientific research underscores the effectiveness of balance retraining. Remarkably, you can see significant improvements in just a few weeks by incorporating progressive balance exercises. These exercises work to normalise your balance and corrective reactions, essential for everyday activities and sports performance.

The Importance of Balance Assessments

A crucial first step in improving balance is undergoing a professional balance assessment. Physiotherapists are skilled in safely evaluating your balance and prescribing tailored exercises and equipment for balance improvement. These assessments form the foundation for a personalised balance enhancement program.

Read more: Where Can You Get Your Balance Assessed?

How to Improve Balance
How To Improve Balance

The Best Exercises for Fall Prevention

One of the primary benefits of improved balance is fall prevention. This is particularly important as we age. Exercises that enhance strength, balance, and righting reactions are central to fall prevention. Safety during these exercises is paramount. A physiotherapist can tailor a safe, effective fall-prevention exercise program to your needs. This personalised approach ensures a steady progression as your balance improves. For professional guidance on starting a fall-prevention exercise routine, consult your physiotherapist.

Utilising Balance Enhancement Products

Over the years, clinicians have developed a range of products that effectively enhance balance. These products have shown success in reducing falls plus also ankle and knee ligament sprains and improving daily and sporting performance. Many of these can be used conveniently at home to boost your balance, reduce injury risk, and alleviate joint pain.

Some recommended balance enhancement products include:

Incorporating these products into your balance training can maximise benefits, leading to improved balance and stability.

For more details: Balance-Related Products

New Research and Developments in Balance Training

Recent studies have brought to light new insights in balance training. These include the importance of multi-directional exercises, the role of core strength in balance, and the benefits of proprioceptive training. Integrating these elements into balance training can lead to more comprehensive improvements.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Improving your balance is an achievable goal with the right approach. Starting with a professional assessment and following through with tailored exercises and the use of enhancement products can lead to significant improvements. The evolving field of balance training continues to offer new strategies and insights.

What to Do Next?

Seek professional advice from your physiotherapist. They can guide you through a safe, effective balance improvement program tailored to your needs. Remember, the journey to better balance starts with a single step – reaching out to a professional!

More Info


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