Prevalence, etiology, and biopsychosocial risk factors of cervicogenic dizziness in patients with neck pain: A multi-center, cross-sectional study

Turk J Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Dec 1;67(4):399-408. doi: 10.5606/tftrd.2021.7983. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Objectives: This study aims to investigate the prevalence, etiology, and risk factors of cervicogenic dizziness in patients with neck pain.

Patients and methods: Between June 2016 and April 2018, a total of 2,361 patients (526 males, 1,835 females; mean age: 45.0±13.3 years; range, 18 to 75 years) who presented with the complaint of neck pain lasting for at least one month were included in this prospective, cross-sectional study. Data including concomitant dizziness, severity, and quality of life (QoL) impact of vertigo (via Numeric Dizziness Scale [NDS]), QoL (via Dizziness Handicap Inventory [DHI]), mobility (via Timed Up-and-Go [TUG] test), balance performance [via Berg Balance Scale [BBS]), and emotional status (via Hospital Anxiety- Depression Scale [HADS]) were recorded.

Results: Dizziness was evident in 40.1% of the patients. Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) was the most common etiology for neck pain (58.5%) and accompanied with cervicogenic dizziness in 59.7% of the patients. Female versus male sex (odds ratio [OR]: 1.641, 95% CI: 1.241 to 2.171, p=0.001), housewifery versus other occupations (OR: 1.285, 95% CI: 1.006 to 1.642, p=0.045), and lower versus higher education (OR: 1.649-2.564, p<0.001) significantly predicted the increased risk of dizziness in neck pain patients. Patient with dizziness due to MPS had lower dizziness severity scores (p=0.034) and milder impact of dizziness on QoL (p=0.005), lower DHI scores (p=0.004), shorter time to complete the TUG test (p=0.001) and higher BBS scores (p=0.001).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest a significant impact of biopsychosocial factors on the likelihood and severity of dizziness and association of dizziness due to MPS with better clinical status.

Keywords: Balance; cervicogenic dizziness; handicap; myofascial pain syndrome; neck pain.