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Can Neck Pain Cause Dizziness?

You might consider neck pain to be a pretty common complaint. What you might not know is that it is often accompanied by dizziness. Since many patients turn to chiropractors for neck pain, you may be wondering if your chiropractor can also help with your dizziness. 

Unfortunately the answer isn’t black and white, and it will depend on your unique symptoms and diagnosis. Read on and we’ll share the science behind the link between neck pain and dizziness and the conditions that can cause them.

We’ll have a close look at whether tight neck muscles or a misaligned spine can cause dizziness in particular. We’ll also make some recommendations on how a chiropractor from MyChiro may be able to help find you some relief from both of your symptoms. Read more about MyChiro Sydney, Bondi.

Can neck pain cause dizziness?

Statistics show that 90 % of people may experience clinically significant neck pain. As much as 5 % of the general population suffer chronic neck pain for a year or more. We don’t know that all causes of neck pain lead to dizziness or why some do. What we do know is that these patients commonly experience neck pain and dizziness together.

Scientific studies have found that in general, patients presenting with neck pain are significantly more likely to develop certain characteristics of dizziness or experience an increase in the severity of those symptoms. This might include light-headedness, confusion and anxiety, or trouble balancing and seeing clearly. There are also several well understood medical conditions the symptoms of which include both neck pain and dizziness.

What conditions cause neck pain and dizziness?

Pain and dizziness can be caused by damage to several structures that are part of or close to the cervical (neck) spine.

Mild traumatic injuries such as whiplash often cause severe neck pain, and sometimes dizziness. Studies have shown that monitoring the forces acting on muscles in the cervical spine may form a part of our system of spatial awareness and balance. Trauma to these muscles can therefore lead to a sense of dizziness.

Degenerative diseases that damage the structure of the vertebrae themselves, or the discs that cushion vertebrae above and below each other commonly cause neck pain. Damage to the spinal structure in these conditions also disrupts the function of blood vessels and nerves.

In rare cases, nerve compression has been reported to cause neck pain, headaches and dizziness. The higher in your neck the damaged structure is, the more likely you’ll experience these symptoms. There are also rare muscular conditions that primarily present as extremely sensitive and painful points in the neck muscles. Estimates show that almost 40 % of patients with these conditions also suffer some dizziness. Neck pain and dizziness may also occur at the same time but with independent causes. Regardless of what is causing your neck pain or dizziness, what is important is that your chiropractor can help.

A consultation with MyChiro may help diagnose and treat whatever condition that is causing your symptoms.

Can tight neck muscles cause dizziness?

Muscular problems in the neck are a common cause of neck pain. They’re also closely associated with dizziness symptoms. However, it is very unlikely that the cause of your dizziness is tight neck muscles alone. Often you will find there is an underlying condition causing tight neck muscles and neck pain, that is also causing dizziness. It is this condition that links the two symptoms and will be the issue you want to target with treatment.The good news is that chiropractors specialise in diagnosing conditions that cause muscle tightness and pain around the spine. Many chiropractic treatment options can also relieve the symptoms you are experiencing and treat the condition itself. If this is the cause of your dizziness, you’ll be treating that as well.

How can a misaligned neck cause dizziness?

Misalignment of vertebrae could be disrupting the normal function of the surrounding structures and tissues. This includes muscles, ligaments and nerves and damage to all of these are common causes of neck pain. As well as nerves, the spine also protects blood vessels. The vertebral arteries run along the length of the spine and through the vertebrae. Misalignment can lead to compression of these blood vessels and disrupt blood flow.

These arteries continue into the base of the skull, where they contribute to the arterial system that supplies blood to the brain itself. As you can imagine, compression and reduced blood flow in these arteries can lead to light-headedness or dizziness if compression is severe enough.

Should I see a chiropractor for my neck pain and dizziness?

The short answer is yes! Chiropractors specialise in diagnosing and relieving pain associated with the spine and surrounding tissues. If you’re suffering neck pain, we have a whole article on how chiropractic treatment can help you. Depending on your diagnosis and symptoms, there is also a good chance that seeing a chiropractor will help with your dizziness.

Chiropractic treatment specifically targets trauma and chronic damage to the spine. If both your neck pain and dizziness are caused by one of the spinal conditions we’ve already talked about, there is a very good chance that chiropractic treatment will help with both symptoms. 

Treating misalignments of the spine is one of a chiropractor’s specialities and if this is the cause of your pain and dizziness, we’re almost certain you’ll find relief following chiropractic treatment.

A sore neck, headache and dizziness are common symptoms to experience at the same time. We’ve run you through the science behind why and what may be causing them. But in the end, it’s a qualified healthcare professional who will diagnose and explain the cause of your individual symptoms including neck pain and dizziness for you. One of the best ways to get help if you are experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve talked about today is to give MyChiro a call or book online for a consultation with one of our experienced chiropractors.

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