Avatar universal

Neck - left side with stiffness, heavy head, and dizziness

Hi - I have been having neck stiffness and a feeling of "heavy head" accompanying by an odd feeling of combined vertigo/dizziness that makes me feel as though I am always being pulled to the left, as if a car is out of alignment. It is also accompanied by fatigue, and general uneasiness (as if I am sometimes walking on the ledge of a building). It always seems to the worst when I wake up, and seems to be the best (least symptoms) when I am laying down at night watching tv. My position is usually in a reclining chair with my head faced forward when watching tv.

I have tried going to my PCP, an ENT, an ER, and now am scheduled for a neuro consult. All of the doctors I see don't seem to be connecting any dots, and some think I am just exaggerating or nuts. This has been going on for 2 months and 2 weeks now. It got better for about a week about a month ago, then came back. The soreness/stiffness is only on left side and seems to follow the path of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, which starts behind the ear and ends in the sternam.

It is really difficult to concentrate and work with this - it takes all of my effort just to engage in conversations, and appear not to be in distress. The dizziness usually leads to naseau, and loss of appetite, which then leads to gastro problems making me feel even weaker and dizzier. It is a viscous cycle now, but the constants I see are:
1) Always worse when waking up
2) Always on left side of neck
3) Dizzy comes and goes
4) Better when laying down
5) Slight popping sound in base of neck when turning to left and then turning to right extreme point (accompanied by slight grinding noise in neck base - which I know, may be benign/unrelated).

Help would be appreciated more than you know.

5 Responses
Avatar universal
that muscle, sternocleidomastoid muscle,  in your neck is related to dizziness and can cause it. I have a book describing all the muscles in the neck that can effect your head and all sorts of things. They are trigger points. I think this is what is causing all your problems. I have had that too there weird dizziness...comes and goes.,,thankfully hasn't happend in over a year. Try massaging your neck or go to a physical therapist. I am gunna go to one too. Describe what your dizziness is like.

hope you feel better.
Avatar universal
The dizziness feels like it is about 25% motion sickness, and 75% feeling like you cannot get/align your balance. It just feels like you are not "balanced" or can walk in a straight line without really coordinating yourself.

The muscle in back of neck area (not sure which one) also sometimes hurts. The neck will also act like it has a burning sensation (like when exercising) - for instance, sitting right now, typing this, having sat for about 2 hours, it feels like I am doing reps on the back muscles of my neck while the left side (I think sternocleidomastoid) is tightened up.

If anyone has any websites or youtube videos on how to massage or correct the neck I would be all ears, especially if it is specific to this circumstance.
Avatar universal
Hi I have the same situation happening now and  I figure an over extension of my neck caused a pinched nerve which triggered it all.  the burning in my shoulder, n numbness in my right hand, sever dizzy spells when turning my head to eater side and if I look down too fast. I feel so sick all the time just like you said. As if I'm off balance and leaning.  I went to a chiropractor yeaterday and had X-rays of my next he will read them tomarrow at 10. Then I'm asking him to refer me to a neuro specialist for hopes of getting an MRI
This ***** bit the chiropractor adjust my next and said DON'T  READ IN BED, sleep on a pillow or hdthe head in any forward position as that will make it worse. Rest and lay flat with head flat or slighty leaning backward about an inch or two lower than the body.
Avatar universal
what did it end up being..i got same problem   i been suffering  3 months  they cant find problem  
Avatar universal
Follow up to my original post above - its been a while, but within 6 months of my writing this I was able to get rid of the problem. It did prove to be the neck muscles. I solved it with chiro treatment (for 2 months), good sleep habits (to facilitate neck muscles resting and rejuvenating), getting better pillows (Grand Embrace from Pacific Coast Down), and some additional treatments that I can PM if you would like. Thanks for the responses on here - you were all right!
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Back & Neck Community

Top Pain Answerers
Avatar universal
st. louis, MO
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
Could it be something you ate? Lack of sleep? Here are 11 migraine triggers to look out for.
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.
Tips for preventing one of the most common types of knee injury.
Here are 10 ways to stop headaches before they start.
Tips and moves to ease backaches