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  /  Neck   /  Cervicogenic dizziness: How neck pain and dizziness are related?

Cervicogenic dizziness: How neck pain and dizziness are related?


Neck pain and dizziness are two common complaints that many people experience at some point in their lives. While these symptoms can arise independently, they are often interconnected, creating a cycle of discomfort and unease.

In this article, we’ll explore the intricate relationship between neck pain and dizziness, examining potential causes, symptoms, and effective management strategies.

The Connection

The neck, or cervical spine, plays a crucial role in supporting the head and facilitating movement. When there is tension, stiffness, or misalignment in the neck, it can lead to a range of issues, including pain and dizziness. The intricate network of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in the neck can impact the body’s balance and stability.

Common Causes

  1. Muscle Tension and Strain: Prolonged periods of poor posture, such as sitting at a desk for extended hours or constantly looking down at a smartphone, can strain the muscles in the neck. This tension can radiate to the head, causing headaches and dizziness.
  2. Cervical Spondylosis: Also known as neck arthritis, cervical spondylosis is a condition characterized by the degeneration of the cervical spine. As the discs and joints wear down with age, they can impinge on nerves and blood vessels, leading to pain and dizziness.
  3. Whiplash Injury: Sudden acceleration-deceleration forces, commonly experienced in car accidents, can result in whiplash. This injury can cause damage to the neck’s soft tissues, leading to pain and a sense of instability that may contribute to dizziness.
  4. Vertebral Artery Dissection: A tear in the vertebral artery, which supplies blood to the brain, can occur due to trauma or spontaneous events. Neck pain and dizziness may be warning signs of this serious condition, requiring immediate medical attention.


  • Neck Pain: Persistent or sharp pain in the neck, shoulders, or upper back.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: A feeling of unsteadiness or spinning.
  • Headaches: Especially originating from the base of the skull.
  • Nausea: Some individuals may experience nausea or an upset stomach.

Management and Prevention

  1. Medication 

In order to treat symptoms, the doctor may first prescribe medicine. 

    • Pain Relievers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants may be used to alleviate pain and muscle tension in the neck like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)
    • Anti-dizziness Medications: Medications targeting the vestibular system, such as vestibular suppressants, can be prescribed for short-term relief during acute episodes like meclizine.

It is essential, however, to acknowledge that medication alone may not address the root cause and should be complemented with other therapeutic strategies.

  1. Physical therapy

The goal of physical therapy is to improve cervical spine function and reduce symptoms associated with cervicogenic dizziness. Therapists use many different methods, such as:

    • Neck Exercises: Targeted exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and posture can alleviate strain on the cervical spine, reducing dizziness.
    • Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques, such as joint mobilization and manipulation, can address specific cervical issues, promoting better mobility and function.
    • Postural Training: Correcting and maintaining proper posture is crucial in minimizing strain on the neck, subsequently reducing dizziness episodes. 
  1. Lifestyle modification

Lifestyle modifications play a pivotal role in managing cervicogenic dizziness:

    • Ergonomic Adjustments: Adapting workspaces and daily activities to promote proper posture can significantly reduce strain on the neck.
    • Regular Exercise: Incorporating low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming, can enhance overall health and contribute to better cervical function.
    • Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate symptoms. Techniques like meditation and yoga can help manage stress levels and improve overall well-being.
  1. Nutrition 

Nutrition plays a supportive role in cervicogenic dizziness treatment:

    • Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Incorporating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation in the cervical region.
    • Hydration: Maintaining adequate hydration supports overall health and can contribute to the health of the cervical discs.


Neck pain and dizziness are interconnected issues that can significantly impact one’s quality of life. Understanding the potential causes and implementing effective management strategies is crucial for finding relief. Whether through lifestyle adjustments, physical therapy, or medical interventions, addressing the root cause of these symptoms can pave the way to a healthier, more comfortable life. If you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms, it’s essential to seek professional medical advice for a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.