Health Talk Update

Health Talk Update

Cervicogenic Dizziness

20 May 2012 - Dr Edmond Chu, chiropractor



Dizziness is a common and chronic complaint encountered in primary care such as chiropractic. In the United States and Britain, its prevalence is 25% and 40% respectively. Most people think that the dizziness is mainly related to disorders relating to visual, auditory and central nervous systems. What is seldom known is that articular changes in the neck would also cause dizziness, which is known as cervicogenic dizziness.

In fact, research has shown that articular changes of upper cervical spine (C1 and C2 segments) would cause cervicogenic dizziness. Actually, upper cervical spine and deep cervical muscle contain high density of proprioceptors responsible for the sense of balance and participates in several reflexes. Therefore, any factors, such as trauma, affecting the upper cervical spine articulation would cause disruption on these reflexes, resulting in dizziness.

The symptoms of the cervicogenic dizziness include: active and sudden neck movement would usually induce dizziness and unsteadiness. Muscle tenderness is found at the neck and suboccipital muscle. Neck pain and dizziness may last for days to months. Patient could possibly have headache and dizziness at the same time.

Chiropractic treatment is beneficial in the management of cervicogenic dizziness. Research has found that chiropractic treatment can improve patient’s dizziness. In fact, spinal manipulation used by chiropractors can improve the gliding motion of the cervical spine. This will reduce the disturbance on the nervous system and the system could operate normally. It not only improves the dizziness but also the quality of life of patient.