Cervicogenic Dizziness


Neck pain that sometimes follows dizziness and may be hard to figure out for practitioners if the dizziness and neck pain are connected or separate (Wrisley, 2017). Cervicogenic dizziness is difficult to diagnose due to non specific test to confirm a diagnosis. A correct diagnosis is provided to a patient when a neck injury or pain is reported along with complaints of dizziness (Wrisley, 2017).

Patients with cervicogenitic dizziness typically describe symptoms of dizziness during head movement or after remaining in position for a long period of time (Wrisley, 2017). I addition, patients may complain of imbalance that worsens with head movement.

Cervicaogenic dizziness requires a physical examination with complete medical history as symptoms may mimic other causes of dizziness. In an effort to achieve an accurate diagnosis your practitioner will perform specific test to rule out vestibular or central vestibular systems (Wrisley, 2017). Your health care provider may perform a test that causes nystagmus (rapid eye movement) causing dizziness symptoms along with nausea and vomiting. A positive test with subjective findings are usually positive, but false positives do occur.

Cervicaogenic dizziness frequently follows whiplash or head injury and is usually related to brain injury or inner ear injury (Wrisley, 2017). Most patients diagnosed with cervicogentic dizziness recover quickly with routine treatment on the neck using medication, gentle passive mobilization, exercise and posture correction. Patients that do not respond to conservative treatment may require additional vestibular therapy that encompasses eye exercise, balance therapy, walking etc. (Wrisley, 2017).


Sherri Boos, Pt. DPT
Wrisley, D. M. (2017). Cervicogenic Dizziness | Vestibular Disorders Association. Retrieved from http://vestibular.org/cervicogenic-dizziness