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I Suffer From Vertigo Cervical Headache

Vertigo Cervical Headache Treatment

Vertigo Cervical Headache is also known as Vertigo Migraine or Vestibular Migraine. This can result in dizziness, unsteadiness or vertigo like symptoms. Headache or migraine pain in the head can also be present or at times be completely absent during an attack.

It can also be triggered by physical exertion, exposure to bright lights, and visual disturbances such as walking and looking down the aisle of a grocery store.  It is also worsened when discomfort is felt in the neck. In some cases a vertigo cervical headache attack can occur for no apparent reason.

At the Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinics, our treatment is effective in alleviating or dramatically reducing Vertigo Cervical Headache in 85-90% of sufferers.
We expect to observe this within the first 5 treatment consultation. The best part about the treatment is that it is medication free, surgical-free, non-invasive, and treats the underlying cause of your problem.

Understanding Your Symptoms

The main symptoms of Vertigo Cervical Headache

There are 4 main symptoms that a Vertigo Cervical Migraine sufferer may experience:

  • Vertigo: Is an external sensation whereby you feel the environment is spinning, or the world is spinning around you. Nystagmus often occurs whereby muscles around the eyes contract, resulting in involuntary eye movements.
  • Dizziness: Is an internal sensation in the head such as light headedness, heavy headedness, unsteady in the head, fogginess or wooziness.
  • Imbalance: Is a physical sensation whereby sufferers will feel unsteady on the feet, overbalancing or veering off to the side when walking.
  • Headache orMigraine: Pain in the head such as headache or migraine can occur during an attack. In many cases headache or migraine can be completely absent, whereby sufferers may feel aura like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances.


Sufferers may experience nausea and vomiting, as well as mild to moderate pain in the head either on one or both sides.
Symptoms are often exacerbated by sudden movements of the head, turning the head to a particular side or when maintaining the head in one position for a prolonged time.

Vertigo Cervical headaches or Vestibular migraines can often be confused with other conditions, including:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Meniere’s Disease
A man experiencing a Migraine

Understanding Your Headache

What causes Vertigo Cervical Headache?

Through current research, Vertigo Migraine is a result of a dysfunction in the neck. It can also be associated after injuries to the neck such as a whiplash or head injury. It may also occur for no apparent reason or cause. Those with this disorder typically have a dysfunction in the upper three cervical spine which causes a SENSITISED BRAINSTEM.

The brainstem is found at the base of the skull, and into the upper three vertebrae. It filters information that passes into the brain including motion-self-awareness and head-equilibrium-position. A cranial nerve called the vestibulocochlear nerve which innervates the inner ear can also be affected resulting in dizziness, vertigo or unbalanced symptoms.
Because this information passes through what is now a sensitised and heightened brainstem, those with this dysfunction will now have a higher risk in suffering from dizziness, vertigo and unbalanced like symptoms. They may also have associated features such as headaches and migraines in Brisbane.

It is important that sufferers, who experience any form of dizziness, imbalance or vertigo issues, have a thorough assessment to properly diagnose their condition. This will ensure that you receive appropriate vertigo treatment and vestibular rehabilitation.

About The Assessment Stage

What To Expect During The Assessment

1. Comprehensive and in-depth examination

We instigate an in-depth assessment to identify all possible related factors that could be causing your headaches or migraines. The upper cervical spine, in particular, is thoroughly examined to identify possible issues.

2. Ligamental stability and vertebral arterial tests

We undertake careful examination of neck ligaments and vertebral arteries, ensuring only the highest standards of patient safety and comfort.

3. Temporarily reproduce your headache and migraine symptoms

As a part of the treatment process, we apply gentle and selective stress to the upper cervical spine in order to reproduce headache symptoms, which subside after 20-30 seconds. This helps to identify and treat the cause of your headaches.

Similar conditions to Vertigo Cervical Headache

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is a disorder of a problem in the inner ear, involving a small calcified otolith (calcium crystals) moving loosely in the inner ear. If these otoliths are dislodged and move freely in the inner ear, it will subsequently result in vertigo and vestibular symptoms. A person suffering from vestibular migraines can often experience symptoms similar to a person suffering from BPPV.

This often causes many health practitioners to mis-diagnose and label a patient having BPPV, when they in fact suffer from Vestibular migraine.


An inner ear infection is called labyrinthitis. The labyrinth is a structure in the inner ear that can be considered a “balancing centre”. When inflammation to the labyrinth occurs, usually due to infections, you may have issues with balance.

The most common cause of labyrinthitis is from viral infections. This can be from the cold/flu virus or the herpes virus group (i.e. the virus that causes chickenpox, shingles or cold sores). Sometimes, ear infections can lead to labyrinthitis.

Labyrinthitis may be diagnosed by a series of tests, including:

• Hearing tests
• Balance tests
• Eye tests
• Head movements
• Blood pressure
• Sometimes other tests such as scans may be performed

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

• Dizziness / Vertigo
• Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
• Hearing loss
• Feeling of fullness / congestion in the ear

Meniere’s disease is also a condition of the inner ear, whereby there is a build-up of fluid in the labyrinth (balancing centre). The fluid build-up sends signals to the brain, which interferes with normal signals. Hence you may feel the symptoms of Meniere’s disease.

Meniere’s Disease can occur to people of all ages, however it generally affects people ranging from 40 to 60 years old.

I've already tried everything. What else can be done to help Vertigo Cervical Headaches?

Treating Vertigo Cervical Headaches

Modern medicine moves very rapidly, and unfortunately this means that no one can keep up with all of the research. Many practitioners rely on the outdated medical model of the various forms of headaches to provide treatments to their patients.

Here at the Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic, we specialise in treating headaches and migraines. Therefore, we pride ourselves in keeping up to date with the most recent research, and applying the most effective treatments for your needs.

A thorough examination of the upper cervical spine is firstly initiated to determine the severity of your SENSITISED BRAINSTEM. If your brainstem has been proven to be hypersensitive and the cause of your Vertigo Cervical Headaches, we then conduct specific treatment to safely and effectively de-sensitive your brainstem. Expect a significant improvement to occur rapidly in 90% of our patients once treatment commences.

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