Cervicogenic causes of vertigo

Curr Opin Neurol. 2015 Feb;28(1):69-73. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000161.


Purpose of review: Herein we discuss the recent literature concerning cervicogenic vertigo including vertigo associated with rotational vertebral artery syndrome, as well as whiplash and degenerative disturbances of the cervical spine. We conclude with a summary of progress regarding diagnostic methods for cervicogenic vertigo.

Recent findings: Several additional single case studies of the exceedingly rare rotational vertebral artery syndrome have been added to the literature over the last year. Concerning whiplash and degenerative disturbances of the cervical spine, four reviews were published concerning using physical therapy as treatment, and two reviews reported successful surgical management. Publications regarding diagnostic methodology remain few and unconvincing, but the cervical torsion test appears the most promising.

Summary: Little progress has been made over the last year concerning cervicogenic vertigo. As neck disturbances combined with dizziness are commonly encountered in the clinic, the lack of a diagnostic test that establishes that a neck disturbance causes vertigo remains the critical problem that must be solved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dizziness / etiology*
  • Dizziness / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Neck / physiopathology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Vertigo / etiology*
  • Vertigo / physiopathology