Can neck pain cause dizziness?
Neck pain on its own can be difficult to live with, but neck pain with dizziness can make even the most mundane daily tasks almost impossible to complete. If you’re experiencing both of these symptoms, you likely have a lot of questions about what caused this pain and dizziness to crop up in the first place and how hard it will be to fix it.
Neck pain and dizziness is not entirely uncommon, so if you are experiencing these symptoms, you are not alone. The term “cervical vertigo” is used to describe exactly what you are feeling: neck pain and dizziness together. Fortunately, this is a treatable condition that is often relieved with physical therapy and vertigo-specific exercises.
What causes neck pain and dizziness?
Cervical vertigo is different from regular vertigo, which is a term used to describe the uncomfortable feeling of spinning (or the room spinning) when you’re not moving. Cervical vertigo is a specific type of dizziness that is directly related to inflammation in the neck.
While there are many causes of neck pain and dizziness, they almost all come down to a blockage of blood flow to the lower part of the brain called the brain stem (responsible for balance) and inner ear. While that may sound scary, this blockage in the spinal canal can be caused by inflammation in the spine or any one of these common conditions:
- Arthritis in the cervical spine (neck region of the spine).
- Cervical spondylosis.
- Degenerative disc disease.
- Bulging or herniated disc.
- Trauma to the neck (whiplash or other trauma).
In more serious cases, cervical vertigo may be caused from a blockage or tearing of the arteries.
Other symptoms of cervical vertigo
Other symptoms that are commonly associated with neck pain and dizziness include:
- Chronic headache.
- Loss of balance.
- Weakness of upper extremities.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Ear pain and/or ringing in the ears.
If you are experiencing neck pain and dizziness that lasts for more than a week or two, or seems to be getting worse, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor or physical therapist to determine what is causing your condition and the next best steps for treatment.
Treatment for neck pain and dizziness
According to the Cleveland Clinic, most cases of cervical vertigo are recommended to be treated with physical therapy. For patients in Maryland, you can go directly to a physical therapist for treatment without a doctor’s referral thanks to direct access care.
During your first visit with your physical therapist, you may be asked to undergo a few tests, which may include:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
- MRA (magnetic resonance angiography).
- Spinal X-rays.
- Vestibular tests.
Additional tests from your physical therapist may be recommended, depending on any other symptoms you display.
At Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness, we offer a personalized approach to physical therapy for neck pain and dizziness. Our goal is to work with each patient on an individual level to find the right treatment and movements to fit their lifestyle and goals. Not into exercise? That’s OK. We can find movements that work with you to help you find relief from chronic neck pain and dizziness.
Each of our physical therapy sessions lasts 40 minutes and is performed with a licensed physical therapist. We don’t simply show you the moves and then leave you with an assistant; we stay with you the entire time to make sure the moves you are doing are the right level of effort (not too hard, not too easy) and that you are progressing at a good rate.
Ready to experience the Forever Fit PT difference? Fill out an appointment form to talk to one of our physical therapists. We can walk with you to find the pain relief you need.