Dizziness attributed to the neck has historically been a sketchy diagnosis. For a long time, many ENTs and neurologists denied that it even existed because there weren’t any tests that can confirm as a diagnosis.
It lead to a lot of dizzy patients getting normal inner ear/vestibular testing, and a 🤷🏻♂️ diagnosis defaulting to psychogenic illness.
Fortunately, we have some evidence that has come from the #whiplash #concussion and neurosurgery research that has provided some clarity on when to suspect cervicogenic dizziness.
Some important clues include:
– History of neck or head trauma
– Dizziness without vertigo/spinning that is agitated by neck movement
– Degenerative changes in the upper neck
– Absence of vestibular findings
– History of neck or radiating arm pain
In addition to those findings, I have found a few functional exams that help point towards cervical origin.
One shown here is a neck torsion balance test.
Lots of clinicians test balance, but adding a challenge to a balance exam where you have a patient turn their torso, or turn their head can put stress on the neck that may worsen a sense of imbalance.
View this post on Instagram
Have your clinician give this test a try, to see if the neck might be a cause of your dizziness.