When neck pain and becoming dizzy present it is called cervical vertigo or cervicogenic dizziness. It can present from different causes. It could be a recent or previous automobile accident, or from slouching too much while looking down at the phone, or it could be an arthritic condition acting up. Whatever the reason/s the spinning, neck pain, and headaches, need to stop. Cervical vertigo, also known as cervicogenic dizziness, is a feeling of disorientation or unsteadiness caused by a neck injury or health condition that affects the neck region of the spine.

There is almost always neck pain when the dizziness starts up. The range of motion is affected and can present with a headache. A cervical vertigo episode can go on for hours, and the condition can last for years. Diagnosing cervical vertigo can be a challenge because some of the symptoms are similar or overlap with other medical issues. This can be inner ear infections/issues to stroke and traumatic brain injury/s like a concussion. Fortunately, once there is a correct diagnosis many of the treatment therapies can be done at home. If there is a cause coming from the neck then it can usually be treated without surgery.

How Balance Works

Keeping the body upright and moving takes a great deal of coordination. Balance involves the:

  • Eyes
  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • And the nervous system working together with the inner ear organs called the vestibular system.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Neck Pain and Feeling Dizzy: Cervicogenic/Cervical Vertigo

When everything is in sync, maintaining equilibrium is as natural as breathing. If one area gets damaged or becomes disrupted, maintaining vertical balance can be a challenge. The exact reason for cervical vertigo is still unknown, but many experts believe it involves a communication problem between the vestibular system and body awareness. Proprioception is the awareness of an individual’s body’s position and motions. It is how an individual knows where their limbs and joints are, and how they move through space. This awareness involves:

  • Sensors in the skin
  • Muscles
  • Joints that send signals to the nervous system

There is a theory that cervical vertigo happens when an injury or health condition interferes with the receptors in the neck, which throws off proprioception. This affects the signals being transmitted to the brain and vestibular system. The result is vertigo.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Neck Pain and Feeling Dizzy: Cervicogenic/Cervical Vertigo

Diagnosing Cervical Vertigo

There is no official test to diagnose cervical vertigo. Instead, a doctor needs to rule out other possible causes of symptoms and confirm the issue is neck-related. This is known as exclusion diagnosis. Other conditions that have similar symptoms and should be considered include:

Neck pain can be a clue that the problem could be cervical vertigo. When an individual has pain, it can be easier to diagnose because it is a kind of reference. When neck pain is not present, healthcare professionals look to the ear or brain.

Spine Conditions That Can Cause A Feeling of Being Dizzy

Sometimes, it can be caused by physical trauma, while other times, it is a result of a health condition that affects the spine. The most common causes include:


Getting older is a potential risk factor from all the wear and tear of regular living. Age can affect neck strength, mobility and increases the chances of developing various health issues.


If the head and neck snap forward and backward at high speed, the result is often whiplash. It is a neck spasm after a high-velocity injury, most commonly an automobile accident.

Cervical spondylosis

This is also known as arthritis of the neck. Cervical spondylosis involves the breakdown of the spine’s discs and joints over time. The discs are the body’s shock absorbers. If they begin to lose water content this starts the degenerative inflammatory process. During this process, bone spurs can begin to develop. This can cause compression of the nerves, blood vessels, and the spinal cord, which can lead to vertigo.

Herniated disc

When the center of a spinal disc bulges out/herniates, it can press on the spinal cord, compressing the spinal cord or the nerves.

Poor posture

Slouching when sitting or looking down to read the phone can compress the vertebrae at the top of the spine.


This is the hardening of artery walls and can restrict blood flow to areas that affect balance.

Neck surgery

This can cause vertigo if the surgery damaged the area, nearby blood vessels, or nerves.

Bow Hunter’s Syndrome

Also known as rotational vertebral artery occlusion. It is the compression of a blood vessel in the neck called the vertebral artery, although it is rare.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Neck Pain and Feeling Dizzy: Cervicogenic/Cervical Vertigo

Treatment Options

Cervical vertigo can be managed without surgery. A healthcare provider can begin the process of diagnosing and start treating any underlying health problems to relieve symptoms. Muscle relaxers and over-the-counter analgesics like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help with pain, and medications like meclizine can help with dizziness.

Aerobic exercise

Physical activities like walking, running, biking or swimming can reduce inflammation and pain. However, for aerobic exercise to be effective, the heart rate has to hit the aerobic zone for at least 15 to 30 minutes per session, at least 3 to 5 times per week.

Strength and balance training

Exercise can ease symptoms. Yoga, Pilates, and tai chi incorporate mindfulness and breathing techniques that are proven to help with pain relief.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is recommended for building strength, improving posture, and neck mobility. Manual therapy works the muscles and joints and has been found to be helpful.


Therapeutic massage can be beneficial for cervical vertigo as it eases tension on the neck and allows better circulation in the arteries.


Acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial for neck pain, and for the treatment of vertigo.


Gentle chiropractic mobilization can help by correcting any injuries or misalignments.

Where to Go

Check with a healthcare provider first to check which is the right treatment to pursue. Conduct plenty of research and ask questions. Above all, don’t let symptoms go unaddressed.

Body Composition

InBody Spotlight - Bryce Henson of Fit Body Boot Camp

Probiotics and Prebiotics

A probiotic is referred to as good bacteria that keeps viruses and bad bacteria in check. The health benefits range from:

  • Boosting immune system function
  • Reducing cholesterol levels
  • Keeps anxiety levels in check
  • Probiotics can be thought of as a personal army that protects the gut/body 24/7.

Yogurts that are low in sugar and high in bacteria cultures along with fermented foods are highly beneficial. If fermented foods cannot be taken, consider probiotic supplements to increase gut health. Good gut bacteria can be helped by consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics are a form of soluble fiber. The body cannot digest prebiotics, but gut bacteria can. Optimal sources of fiber-rich prebiotics can be found in nutrient-dense foods like:

  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Wheat bran
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Raw chicory

A diet with various types of fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity and prevent weight gain.

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The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*


Cleveland Clinic. 2020. “Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Dizziness Problems.” health.clevelandclinic.org/is-your-world-spinning-help-for-dizziness/

Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology. (2018.) “Symptoms in cervical vertigo.”onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lio2.227

Pain Physician. (2013.) “Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Cervical Vertigo.”painphysicianjournal.com/current/pdf?article=MjM3NQ%3D%3D&journal=89

Physiopedia. (n.d.) “Cervicogenic dizziness: screening.” physio-pedia.com/Cervicogenic_dizziness:_screening

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The information herein on "Neck Pain and Feeling Dizzy: Cervicogenic/Cervical Vertigo" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

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Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.