There are a range of symptoms and variety of potential descriptions of cervicogenic dizziness. Cervicogenic Dizziness symptoms can vary from one person to another and still carries the weight of controversy.

The description of dizziness, including a sensation of spinning and/or dysequilibrium is common (Krabak et al 2000, Kalberg 1996).  It has even been described generally as dizziness that may be associated with headache, cervical pain, nausea, cold sweats and/or nonspecific complaints (Morinaka 2006).

With that said, the following are the top 5 symptoms of Cervicogenic Dizziness.

  1. Lightheadiness
  2. Drunkenness
  3. Unsteadiness
  4. Feeling of imbalance
  5. Room spinning

It is highly recommended to exclude other sources of dizziness prior to making a diagnosis of cervical origin. We recommend using the Optimal Sequence Algorithm, a detailed subjective and objective screening process.

There are some fine details in symptom and presentation characteristics between several types of dizziness. The differential diagnosis can mean a difference between referring out or greenlight to treat in an outpatient setting.

If benign disorders of the dizziness are found, then the patient could have a double entity, which is both a vestibular disorder and cervical disorder. That is why the patient’s symptoms may vary or change between several of the descriptors above.


You can learn more about the screening and treatment process of Cervicogenic Dizzinesss through Integrative Clinical Concepts, where the authors (husband–a manual therapist a wife—a vestibular specialist), teach a very unique course combining both the theory and practice of vestibular and manual principles in their 2-day course.  Pertinent to this blog post, the entire weekend includes the most up-to-date evidence review from multiple disciplines to diagnose through the “Optimal Sequence Algorithm” and treat through the “Physio Blend”. 

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 for prices and discounts.


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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