Dizzy Balance

Dizziness Caused by Migraine or Neck Pain

Migraine Causing Dizziness

There are many different causes of dizziness including conditions of the inner ear, medication side effects, changes in blood pressure, or prolonged bed rest. Did you know that migraine headaches and painful neck conditions can also cause dizziness?

When migraine is accompanied by vertigo, neck pain may also be present. The neck symptoms can vary, but often include:

  • Reduced range of motion
  • Pain on one side of the neck, radiating to the temple, forehead, or eye
  • Pain on one side of your cheek or face
  • Pain at one or both sides of the base of your skull
  • Sometimes, pain can radiate to one shoulder

Treating the neck symptoms often relieves the dizziness and lessens the severity of migraine symptoms. Saunders Therapy Centers’ physical therapists are experts at evaluating and treating musculoskeletal conditions of the neck, and can assess whether your dizziness is originating from migraine or neck symptoms.

Migraine Causing Dizziness

What Does A Physical Therapist Do for Dizziness Related to Migraine or Neck Pain?

Vertigo disorders are multi-factorial in nature and require a thorough exam to identify contributing factors. Our approach:

  • Musculoskeletal Evaluation: Your evaluation will include an assessment of your posture, muscle flexibility, muscle strength and gait analysis.
  • Dizziness/Balance Evaluation: Your evaluation will also include balance testing, as well as positional testing designed to establish the source(s) of dizziness. Sometimes, we may do simple tests to check your eye movements as they related to your symptoms.
  • Education: We spend time discussing your diagnosis and encourage self-management strategies as part of our comprehensive treatment approach.
  • Treatment: Our aim is to get you feeling better from the first visit. Depending on the results from your exam, you may respond well to manual therapy, or hands-on techniques designed to improve the symmetry and tone in the muscles of the head and neck. Simple home exercises are often an important part of your treatment plan.


Falls Prevention and Balance Training

Helping an older person walk

Dizziness, unsteadiness, and feeling a loss of balance is very unpleasant and frustrating. Individuals over the age of 65 are statistically at much higher risk of falls. Each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again, and 1 out of 5 falls in the elderly cause a fracture or head injury. (Statistics from the CDC’s Facts About Falling)



We Love to Help Prevent Falls!

  • We will perform a detailed evaluation to objectively assess your fall risk
  • You will learn specific exercises to strengthen your legs and the muscles that support balance
  • You will have an increased awareness of risky situations
  • We will problem-solve situations in your home to decrease your risk of falls


Home Safety Tips


BPPV – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV dizziness

BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, is the most common source of vertigo. Vertigo is the false sensation that you are falling, or the room is spinning. The main symptom of BPPV is that your vertigo is triggered by head movements (suddenly looking up, down, or to the right or left.) Rarely serious, it is significantly disabling and can cause a risk of falling. Fortunately, it can be helped by physical therapy.

Tiny organs and fluid in your inner ear are responsible for balance. BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals called otoconia or “canaliths” come loose from their normal location in the inner ear.  When the ear crystals become detached, they can flow freely in the fluid-filled spaces of the inner ear, including the semi-circular canal – the organ that senses rotation of the head. These floating crystals create havoc, by falsely telling your inner ear that your position in space is changing. This is what causes the spinning sensation with head movement that people with BPPV describe.
Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation to determine whether your vertigo/dizziness is likely caused by BPPV. If so, positional techniques called “Canalith Repositioning” can be very effective in resolving the symptoms.


What Does A Physical Therapist Do for BPPV?

Saunders Therapy Centers physical therapists are all skilled at performing Canalith Repositioning techniques.

The canalith repositioning procedure consists of several simple maneuvers for positioning your head. Guided by your therapist, the head movements attempt to move the loose particles from the fluid-filled semicircular canals of your inner ear into a location where they don’t cause trouble and are more easily resorbed.

This procedure often works immediately, and usually works after one or two treatments. Since BPPV can recur, you will be taught how to perform the procedure on yourself so that you can do it at home if needed.


BPPV dizziness