Cervicogenic Dizziness, Cervical Vertigo,

How do you treat Cervicogenic Dizziness?

In order to provide the most appropriate treatment, you need to figure out the most appropriate diagnosis.  Examining proper symptoms and ruling out other conditions that could contribute to dizziness and lightheadiness is the first course of action for someone you are considering to have Cervicogenic Dizziness.

From there, there are many options to treat the patient and this could be determined on what type of clinician you see.

Acupuncturist: you will get acupuncture

Chiropractor: you will get chiropractic manipulation (other procedures probably as well…)

Massage therapist: massage

Physical Therapist: well…depends on who and where.  Read more below.

For a clinician who is a vestibular therapist with minimal manual training, you will most likely get mostly vestibular therapy and some manual therapy to the neck. For the manual therapist with minimal vestibular training, you will most likely get the opposite — more manual therapy to the neck and less vestibular therapy.

Manual Therapy to the Neck for Cervicogenic Dizziness Treatment

Honestly, for the most appropriate treatment of Cervicogenic Dizziness — the procedures all depends on the clinical findings.  We can make a grand statement based on the research that acupuncture (as of this blog writing in Dec 2019) has the only meta-analysis (top dog evidence) for Cervicogenic Dizziness where you will find more randomized control-trials in the physical therapy literature, specifically using Mulligan or Maitland therapeutic approach.

Vestibular Therapy to Treat Cervicogenic Dizziness

We teach in our course to examine all systems and address them in the most proper way based on your skill set and patient’s presentation.  We are on a mission to combine both manual and vestibular therapies to help patients who may be referred to an outpatient clinic, vestibular clinic, sports clinic, pediatric clinic or even neurological clinic!

Example of Cervical Motor Control treatment for Cervicogenic Dizziness

We teach our students what the literature says in regards to the best available evidence but what I really like to do is “blend” procedures together.  We really shouldn’t separate the procedures and evidence of effectiveness between vestibular and manual therapy.  To describe this “marriage”, we call this the “Physio Blend”.  

I do find that there is usually a combination of vestibular and orthopedic findings and if only addressing one without the other, then you are doing a disservice to the patient.

It is like treating someone with knee pain by only performing procedures on the hip and not the ankle!

There you go!  This is the exact formula and clear message of how to treat Cervicogenic Dizziness 🙂


You can learn more about the screening and treatment process of Cervicogenic Dizzinesss through Integrative Clinical Concepts, where the author and his wife, a Vestibular Specialist, teach a 2-day course.  Pertinent to this blog post, the second day provides the most up-to-date evidence review from multiple disciplines to treat through the “Physio Blend” to combine the specialities of manual therapy, vestibular therapy and sensorimotor training.  

If you would like to host a course for your staff (either a vestibular, neuro, sports or ortho clinic), please do not hesitate to contact me at harrisonvaughanpt@gmail.com for prices and discounts.

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Authors

Harrison N. Vaughan, PT, DPT, OCS, Dip. Osteopracic, FAAOMPT    

Instructor: Cervicogenic Dizziness for Integrative Clinical Concepts

Danielle N. Vaughan, PT, DPT, Vestibular Specialist  

Instructor: Cervicogenic Dizziness for Integrative Clinical Concepts

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