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Cervicogenic Vertigo
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Cervicogenic Vertigo

I'm having terrible pain in my neck, turns out I have slight herniation(1-2mm) in c-5, c-6. I've had two car accidents and spent most of my life weight lifting, (upright rows and shrugs were a part of that) I've had severe vertigo and neck/cranial pain for 6 months now. At age 50, I'm guessing it could be anything, perhaps sleeping on my stomach my whole life...or working out. I get stiff in the neck and dizzy spells and major balance problems.

this has been going on for 6 months. By the way, I get a chiropractic adjustment (gentle low pressure) and everything returns, balance, strength, no headaches, clear thinking and after 3- 4 days working on computer it comes back.

Do you think it could be Cervicogenic Dizziness  or should I be looking into other things?

Please help
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

As you know, dizziness can have many causes. Vertigo, or "room-spinning dizziness" can be caused by several different types of inner ear problems and less commonly from central nervous system diseases. Cervical disease (such as a herniated disc in the cervical (neck) region or arthritis of the spine) can cause vertigo, though this is not common More often, the dizziness is not room-spinning per se but rather a wooziness or sort of light-headed dizziness. I will refer to this as cervicogenic dizziness. This notion of cervicogenic dizziness is not accepted by all medical practioners, it is controversial, as it is not well researched, difficult to diagnose, and difficult to conduct research on. However, it may be diagnosed in someone with neck pathology and dizziness in which no other cause is found. Therefore, it is a diagnosis of exclusion, after inner-ear and brain problems are excluded.

Patients with dizziness due to neck pathology (cervicogenic dizziness) often complain of dizziness that is worse with particular head movements and when the head is maintained in one specific posture for prolonged periods. Neck pain and a headache in the occipital region (the back of the head above the neck) may be associated with the dizziness. The dizziness may last minutes to hours after assuming certain head positions.

Other causes of vertigo can include inner ear problems, of which there are a variety including Menniere's disease (which is marked by episodes of vertigo, ear-ringing (tinnitus) and hearing loss), Benign positional vertigo (BPPV) which is marked by episodes of vertigo brought on by head movement, brain tumors (this would be apparent on MRI), certain toxic drugs (specific medications), neuropathy, and certain infections.

You would benefit from an evaluation by a ENT or neurologist who specializes in vertigo. Also, you may benefit from physical therapy (specifically vestibular rehab).

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

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