Cervical vertigo can be debilitating and frustrating. It may even be hard to get out of bed and do normal day-to-day activities. Trust me, I have been there. So the thought of doing physical exercises for cervical vertigo can feel daunting. The last thing we would want to do is to recreate and amplify the already horrendous feeling that vertigo is. But in order to heal and get better, some discomfort may be needed, even if you start out incredibly slow. Here are some very simple exercises and stretches that you can do to gain your balance back.
If your neck muscles are incredibly tight and 'guarding' then it is imperative to release them, as they may be putting pressure on nerves, joints, and blood vessels. This will not be a quick fix, so it is important to do these almost daily if not daily. PLEASE BE CAREFUL AS TO NOT GO SO FAR AS TO EXACERBATE YOUR SYMPTOMS! GO AS FAR AS YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE! Try these stretches 15 seconds or as long as comfortable:
Cervical rotation side to side (as if looking over your shoulder)
Cervical rotation up and down (looking up at the sky and down to the ground)
Cervical side bend (tilting your head to your shoulders)
Upper trapezius stretch (with your opposite arm, grab your head over the top and stretch your neck like the side bend. for an extra stretch, sit on your hand or grab the underpart of a chair you are sitting on, on the side being stretched.)
Levator scapulae stretch (very similar to the trapezius stretch above, the only difference is that you will rotate your head at a 45 degree angle and then look down)
Chin tucks (arguably the most important. keeping your head level and looking straight ahead, tuck your head back and hold. this helps stretch your sub-occipital muscles)
When you have cervical vertigo, or any kind of vertigo at that matter, it is most likely your vestibular system that is causing the issues. Whether it is not getting the right signals from your body due to a injured neck, something like BBPV, or even damaged cranial nerves, the vestibular system disfunction can be what is causing your symptoms. Luckily for us, it is very much like a muscle in that it can be worked and get stronger. Here are some simple vestibular exercises popularly used in vestibular rehab. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT YOU WANT TO RECREATE YOUR SYMPTOMS TO TOLERABLE LEVELS. THAT WAY YOU KNOW YOU ARE WORKING IT. Try these for 30 seconds each or until symptoms arise:
Cervical rotation side to side (very similar to the stretch above, however this time it will be a constant movement back and forth slowly will keeping your eyes fixated on an object straight ahead, never taking your eyes off of it. can start this sitting in a chair or if you feel more comfortable, standing.)
Cervical rotation up and down (same as above, just up and down)
Ball toss (you start this while sitting in a chair and can work up to walking when comfortable. use a small ball, like a tennis ball, and toss it from hand to hand in a high arch, maintaining eye contact with it.)
Before and after your exercises and stretches, it may beneficial for you to use heat (before) and ice (after). I hope that these exercises can help you as they have me! Stay strong, you got this! Please check out my article on Can Fatigue Cause Dizziness?
Medical Advice Disclaimer
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
This information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.