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What is the standard treatment for cervical vertigo?

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Quick Answer

The standard treatment for cervical vertigo is to address the underlying causes, such as abnormal proprioception, using topical or oral pain medications. Cervical vertigo is a rare and difficult condition to treat, according to the American Hearing Research Foundation. Identification and treatment of underlying causes usually improve the vertigo.

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Full Answer

Cervical vertigo is a syndrome of imbalance and disorientation found in patients who have some form of neck injury, explains the AHRF. Symptoms of the disorder include a sensation of dizziness following any neck movement and, for some patients, ear pain.

There are two main physiological causes of cervical vertigo, adds the AHRF. The first is vascular compression that occurs when vertebrae or other structures compress the arteries in the neck, such as with arthritis or chiropractic manipulation. The second is abnormal sensory input from nerves that sense movement and vibration in the neck where the sensation is absent or unreliable.

Diagnosis of cervical vertigo can be frustrating and uncertain, cautions the AHRF. Not only do doctors need to rule out reasonable diagnostic alternatives such as inner ear disease and other medical causes of vertigo, but they also need to look for positive confirmation of the disorder by ordering an MRI scan of the neck.

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