Manual therapy treatment of cervicogenic dizziness: a systematic review

Man Ther. 2005 Feb;10(1):4-13. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2004.03.006.


Dizziness is a common and often disabling disorder. In some people the cause of their dizziness is pathology or dysfunction of upper cervical vertebral segments that can be treated with manual therapy. The aim of the present study was to systematically review the literature on the manual therapy treatment of patients with cervicogenic dizziness, by identifying and evaluating both randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs (controlled clinical trials and non-controlled studies). Seven electronic databases were searched up to July 2003, article reference lists were screened and an expert panel elicited to obtain relevant trials. Nine studies met the inclusion criteria and key data was extracted. Two reviewers assessed the validity of the studies using the Cochrane format and found that all studies had low methodological quality. However, a consistent finding was that all studies had a positive result with significant improvement in symptoms and signs of dizziness after manual therapy treatment. Therefore, Level 3 evidence for manual therapy treatment of cervicogenic dizziness was obtained indicating it should be considered in the management of patients with this disorder provided there is evidence of improvement. This review has identified the need for further RCTs of acceptable methodological quality.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dizziness* / diagnosis
  • Dizziness* / physiopathology
  • Dizziness* / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations / methods
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations / standards*
  • Patient Selection
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Range of Motion, Articular